Pep Guardiola says he'll drop Catalan ribbon gesture if Manchester City ask him

Pep Guardiola has been charged by the FA over the ribbon protest

Pep Guardiola has been charged by the FA over the ribbon protest

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has said he'll stop wearing a yellow ribbon in solidarity with Catalan political prisoners if the club asks him to do so.

Guardiola has worn the ribbon in his jacket for several weeks as a show of support for Jordi Sanchez and Jordi Cuixart, two Catalan propagandists who have been detained without trial since October for their role in organising protests against the Spanish government.

Guardiola has already been charged by the FA for wearing the ribbon, which is considered a political gesture by the football authorities. However he subsequently said he didn't mind paying the fine as the issue at hand was more important.

The former Barcelona manager, who hails from the Catalan town of Santpedor and has been rumoured to covet a future political role, now appears to have changed tack, saying "It’s more important what is happening with the team and the club than my personal opinion.”

Regarding the possible removal of the ribbon, Guardiola added, “I think it’s not going to happen but if [the owners] ask that, I am going to accept that. They are the bosses.

"The club is more important than my personal opinion. But my personal opinion is not a political opinion. When men and women put on a red [pink] ribbon it’s because of the support for the breast cancer initiative.

“The same as when I wear the prostate cancer badge. The idea is the same, there are a lot of ribbons, I’m pretty sure there are people all around the world in Spain and Catalonia ho do not want to be independent, but they are not agreeing with putting people in jail.”

Guardiola's team face Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium tonight, looking to consolidate their huge lead at the top of the Premier League.

As City have been winning, the case of 'the two Jordis' has become a cause celebre in Catalonia, with widespread protests demanding their release from jail.

Sanchez has even been talked of as Catalonia's next regional president, although it is likely he will have to be released from prison to carry out this role.