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English FA fines Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola for wearing ribbon in support of Catalonia independence

English FA fines Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola for wearing ribbon in support of  Catalonia independence.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has been charged by the Football Association for ‘wearing a political message, specifically a yellow ribbon’, the governing body has announced.

The FA said in a statement that the yellow ribbon worn by the former Barcelona boss on his jacket in support of imprisoned Catalan politicians was in breach of its kit and advertising regulations.

Guardiola, whose side face Arsenal in the Carabao Cup final on Sunday, has until 6pm on Monday, March 5 to respond to the charge.

Pep Guardiola has been charged for wearing a ribbon in support of Catalan independence.

Guardiola wore the ribbon during his press conference at the City football academy on Friday.

The City boss was criticised by his rival Jose Mourinho for being allowed to wear the ribbon prior to the club’s game against Manchester United.

‘I’ve known Pep for many years,’ he said. ‘I think I know what Pep feels about his country. To have it in football, I don’t know the rules.

‘If the rules allow us to do that, he is a free citizen to do it, but I am not sure if the rules allow any political message on the pitch. That’s just my doubt. I think I wouldn’t be allowed to, that’s just what I think.’

While political messages have been banned for a number of years around football games — which was the cause of the annual poppy controversy with FIFA — UEFA changed their rules this season to only ban offensive messages.

Guardiola initially wore the ribbon in support of the imprisoned politicians Jordi Cuixart and Jordi Sanchez. They were incarcerated during the row over Catalan independence.

Guardiola was born in central Catalonia and has a long association with the region, having both played and managed Catalan club Barcelona.

He spoke after City’s game against Arsenal last year about the ribbon: ‘I hope that the politicians in prison can leave as soon as possible for their families.

‘If it can happen to them then it can happen to us. For giving an opinion. People shouldn’t be confused and think it couldn’t happen to them, because it can.’

 

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