By Yusef Taylor, @FlexDan_YT
Manchester City Manager, Pep Guardiola, has accepted an English Football Association fine for wearing a yellow ribbon associated with Catalonia referendum last week. Speaking to the press he said “well, I accept if I broke the rules, I accept the fine. So I am a human being. It’s terrible for humanity. So I will accept if the FA decide about my behaviour. But my behaviour is not to be disrespectful to anyone, it’s just to be part of something for humanity.”
Speaking about the Catalonia referendum he said “they don’t have weapons. The weapons they have are just the votes in the ballots. And that’s why. I think England knows very well what it means; you did the Brexit, you let the people have an opinion. You allowed Scotland to have a referendum about if (they) want to stay (in the United Kingdom) or not. And, after, the people vote. That is what they ask and they are in prevention jail right now.
So I said. It’s always with me, always will be with me until the last. Because I think it’s not about politicians, it’s about democracy; it’s about helping the people who didn’t do anything. Before a manager. I am a human being, I am a person.”
Back in December before the FA charge, fierce derby rival and manager for Manchester United, Jose Mourinho was questioned on this particular issue. Journalist: “EUFA has been big on clamping down on political statements. What are your thoughts about Spain, Pep wearing a yellow ribbon about Catalonia?”
Jose Mourinho: “I think that our political ideology and political beliefs is something that we have the right to have we are normal citizens like everybody else in our countries and everybody else in our world. I know Pep for many years or I think I know what Pep feels about his country. To have it in football I don’t know the rules. If the rules allow us to do that he is a free citizen to do it. But I am not sure if the rules allow us to have any political message on that pitch. That’s just my doubt but I know Pep and I know his feelings like everyone else know because it’s public about his country.”
Journalist: “Would you never do a similar thing Jose?”
Jose Mourinho: “I think I wouldn’t be allowed to do. That’s just what I think.”
When the journalist persisted to ask Mourinho more questions about Pep and Catalonia he was instructed to keep his questions to the football match. Never the less this was the question which got no response. “Do you think it’s a case of him being treated differently again?” Could this question have prompted the FA to fine Pep for wearing his yellow ribbon? Does this charge prove that Pep doesn’t get preferential treatment from the FA?
In the world of football Pep Guardiola is often lauded for his attractive, free flowing style of football while Jose Mourinho is often goaded for his defensive, park the bus iteration of tactical football. This often see’s Mourinho depicted as the villain with Pep claiming the main protagonist role. This year, Pep’s Manchester City are currently flying high at the pinnacle of the Premier League with Manchester United nine points behind in second. This rivalry makes great viewing on and off the pitch and it was interesting to hear Pep’s response when asked about Jose Mourinho’s comments on his yellow ribbon.
Journalist: “Jose (Mourinho) was critical of you (Pep Guardiola) wearing the ribbon.”
Pep Guardiola: “I do that, because in Spain for especially two people. Specific people who defend something like vote or something you are not agreeing for the people who are in command at that time is in prison. So it’s unfair. And they are still there. So until they are not out always (the yellow ribbon will be) with me. Because ok they can suspend me but the other people are in jail. And maybe in the future the people who do not agree with me when am telling you. They are not in agreement in the future for the people who are in charge in the state, to command, then maybe they will be in jail then. So we have to defend.
For the specific people, I am not a politician the two guys like Jordi Cuixart and Jordi Sanches are in prison more than 60 days. 60 days in prison without their family for just ask to vote because they do not agree with the governed state, in that case, Pepe. So if they want to suspend me the Euefa, the Premier League, the Fifa it’s ok. But I will be suspended. But our kids maybe one day we grew up they will not agree maybe with the state they will be in the jail and I want to protect that.”