MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said Martin Glenn’s “extraordinary” comments about the wearing of a yellow ribbon in support of Catalan politicians demonstrated the FA chief executive’s ignorance of the subject.
“The first impression (I got) when I heard that is he didn’t understand what the yellow ribbon means,” Guardiola said Tuesday. “It is simple like that. He made a comment that is far away from what it means.”
Speaking to reporters over the weekend, Glenn said the ribbon was “a political symbol” of Catalan independence that annoyed many Spaniards.
Guardiola attempted to put Glenn straight by saying the ribbon is not about independence but support of “four people who are in jail when they didn’t do anything to be in jail.”
He was referring to Catalan politicians who have been jailed or went into exile after a secession bid in October. The region held an independence referendum that was banned by Madrid authorities.
“It is simple,” Guardiola said. “I think now he (Glenn) will understand. He didn’t understand the reality of the situation.”
On Monday, the FA said Guardiola has accepted a charge of “promoting a political message by wearing a ribbon.” A hearing will take place soon.
Guardiola can continue to wear the ribbon outside of games — he wore it during the news conference Tuesday — but not on the touchline during domestic matches.
He can wear it in UEFA competitions. City holds a 4-0 lead over Basel heading into the second leg of their Champions League last-16 match on Wednesday.