Lazio captain Paolo Di Canio is to be investigated by the Italian football federation (FIGC) over an alleged fascist salute during his side's 3-1 victory over bitter city rivals AS Roma on Thursday.  

According to witnesses and photographs published in newspapers, Di Canio extended his right arm to the Lazio fans who have a history of racial abuse and suspected fascist leanings.Di Canio, though, strongly denied that he had intended to cause offence.  

"It was only to celebrate," said the former Italian international. "I am a professional and my manner of celebrating has nothing to do with politics."  

Lazio president Claudio Lotito defended Di Canio."Of course he celebrated quite forcefully but he did so within the laws of the game," said Lotito.  

However Roma's sporting director Franco Baldini saw it differently.  

"Mister Di Canio's behaviour stained a victory which his side had rightly won on the pitch. It was an incitement to violence," he said.