Wednesday 16 January 2019

FA set to get tough with Pep Guardiola if he continues to wear yellow ribbon in support of Catalan independence

Pep Guardiola (left) has insisted is yellow ribbon protest is not political but the FA disagree
Pep Guardiola (left) has insisted is yellow ribbon protest is not political but the FA disagree
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Martin Glenn, the Football Association chief executive, has warned Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola that he needs to stop wearing a yellow ribbon to show his support for imprisoned Catalan politicians.

Glenn has spoken out to criticise Guardiola and insisted the FA's stance cannot be compared to their eagerness to promote the wearing of poppies every November, which they argue is an act of remembrance for fallen soldiers and not a political emblem.

Guardiola has been been given a disciplinary charge by the FA for "wearing a political message, specifically a yellow ribbon", but he has vowed to continue wearing the ribbon despite the threat of fines and possible touchline bans.

Now Glenn has offered up some feisty comments on the issue, as it seems the English FA are ready to make a firm stand against Guardiola unless he alters his stance.

"To be honest, and to be very clear, Pep Guardiola’s yellow ribbon is a political symbol, it’s a symbol of Catalan independence and I can tell you there are many more Spaniards, non‑Catalans, who are pissed off by it," declared Glenn.

"All we are doing is even-handedly applying the laws of the game. We don’t want football equipment to display political symbols. That has always been the case. The problem we had with poppies is that for some reason a new person at Fifa seemed to think poppies were a political symbol and we fought hard against that notion and thankfully sense broke out."

When asked to explain why the yellow ribbon protest cannot be compared to the annual poppy appeal in the UK, Glenn responded: "Poppies are not political symbols; that yellow ribbon is.

"Where do you draw the line, should we have someone with a UKIP badge? Someone with an Isis badge? That’s why you have to be pretty tough that local, regional, national party organisations cannot use football shirts to represent them.”

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