Pep Guardiola charged by FA for wearing yellow ribbon
English football association says symbol supporting imprisoned Catalan officials breaches regulations
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has been charged by the English football association (FA) for "wearing a political message, specifically a yellow ribbon." The symbol in support of Catalan independence leaders being held in pre-trial prison contravenes the FA’s rules on kits and advertising.
Guardiola has long been an outspoken supporter of the independence movement in Catalonia, and has consistently worn the yellow ribbon at games. The charges were triggered when he wore the ribbon during Monday’s match against Wigan. Since the FA first spoke to Guardiola about the matter in December, the Catalan coach has ignored two formal warnings.
When the matter was first brought up with the coach at the end of last year, Guardiola was defiant, saying: "If they want to suspend me - Uefa, Premier League, Fifa. It's OK". Guardiola now has until March 5 to appeal the charge, although reports in the English media suggest that it is unlikely he will receive any punishment for the infraction.
What’s more, while Uefa regulations allow European football’s governing body to punish the provocative use of "gestures, words or objects" of a "political, ideological or religious" nature, it has been reluctant to get involved with issues relating to Catalonia’s independence movement. For example, Uefa preferred to compromise with Barcelona football club over allowing independence flags in the Camp Nou stadium rather than hand out a punishment.