Published: Tue, March 06, 2018
Sports | By Brooke Harris

Pep Guardiola admits FA charge over pro-Catalan ribbon

Pep Guardiola admits FA charge over pro-Catalan ribbon

Martin Glenn said that the ribbon, which Guardiola wears to show solidarity with jailed Catalan independence campaigners, was "highly divisive" and referenced it among other symbols that could cause offence such as a Ukip badge or even an Isis logo.

Glenn had been defending the decision to charge Guardiola for wearing a yellow ribbon in matches, a decision that prompted suggestions of FA double standards, after it campaigned for Federation Internationale de Football Association to allow players to wear commemorative poppies during internationals.

Glenn said he wanted to keep such symbols out of the game and that the British tradition of wearing a poppy to remember the country's war dead was not a political matter.

The FA had previously warned the manager for his wearing of political symbols, but they made a decision to take action when he wore it near the pitch - the only place he isn't allowed to have it on show - during said loss.

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Guardiola began wearing the ribbon a year ago in support of Catalan politicians Jordi Sanchez and Jordi Cuixart, who remain in custody following a crackdown in the aftermath of last October's referendum on Catalan independence - a poll Spain's national governing deemed to be illegal.

"You can't have, and we don't want, football equipment to display political symbols", said Glenn. To put it in the same bracket as the swastika and (former Zimbabwe leader) Robert Mugabe is offensive and inappropriate.

"Martin apologised, explained the context for his comments and stated that he did not intend to cause offence, which I accepted".

"I will be speaking with the Jewish Leadership Council and to (anti-discrimination group) Kick It Out to personally apologize". "I have thanked the FA for their apology and I am glad that this has been dealt with swiftly".

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Guardiola accepted the charge on Saturday, but it is believed that he and Manchester City pointed out what they perceive to be a number of inconsistencies in the FA's regulations - such as the fact they appear to jar with Uefa's policy of allowing political symbols so long as they are deemed inoffensive.

The FA spoke to the City boss about the situation in December and had previously issued two formal warnings.

"It's like, for example, the pink ribbon".

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