Saturday 19 January 2019

Guardiola accepts yellow ribbon charge

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola. Photo: Martin Rickett/PA Wire
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola. Photo: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

Jason Burt

Pep Guardiola has accepted an English Football Association charge over wearing a yellow ribbon in support of Catalan independence.

The Manchester City manager replied to the charge on Saturday and said he would not actively breach the FA regulations on kit and advertising in future.

However, Guardiola has not apologised and has made it clear that, while he will recognise the regulations and adhere to what is demanded by the FA, it does not mean he agrees with them. He can continue to wear the ribbon during matches as long as it is not visible.

Guardiola was charged by the FA after it was deemed he had breached the rules by continuing to wear the ribbon in support of Catalan activists who have been jailed. The FA said its rules prohibited "any political message" during games.

Guardiola did not make the yellow ribbon visible in City's recent Premier League matches against Arsenal and Chelsea. Instead, against Chelsea, the yellow symbol that Guardiola was wearing was the daffodil symbol in support of the Marie Curie charity.

He was charged after the ribbon was shown during City's FA Cup tie against Wigan Athletic but, even then, Guardiola attempted to cover the ribbon up under his jacket, only for it to become unzipped.

Guardiola argued that having received two warnings from the FA it was not as if he was actively flouting the rules. In his submission to the FA, Guardiola pointed out the FA's stance was not in line with other governing bodies. For example, Uefa has no problem with him wearing the yellow ribbon and he will continue to do so during Champions League matches.

Guardiola also highlighted the inconsistencies of the FA stance on poppies and the wearing of rainbow laces. He also argued the yellow ribbon did not constitute an offensive political symbol for right-minded people.

An independent commission will decide what action to take against him. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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