Guardiola fined £20k for yellow ribbon protest

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has been hit with a £20,000 fine for wearing a yellow ribbon in support of jailed Catalan independence leaders.

The Football Association has also warned the former Barcelona boss about his future conduct after he accepted a charge of “wearing a political message”.

Guardiola has argued wearing the symbol is not political but has accepted it is in breach of the FA’s kit and advertising regulations.

He has not apologised for the gesture, but has said he will stop wearing it during domestic matches in order to respect the rules.

Catalan-born Guardiola will continue to wear the ribbon for pre and post-match media commitments.

This is permitted as the FA’s regulations refer specifically to the technical area during games.

He can also wear it during Champions League matches, as he did for Wednesday’s clash against Basel, because it is not a breach of UEFA codes.

Pep Guardiola had guided City to 30 games unbeaten in the Premier League

Image: Pep Guardiola has insisted the yellow ribbon is not a political symbol

Guardiola accepted the charge earlier this week and did not wear the ribbon during Sunday’s 1-0 victory over Chelsea.

He instead wore a yellow daffodil in support of the Marie Curie Cancer Charity.

In their response to the FA charge, Manchester City cited what they believe is an inconsistency in the rules, as Europe’s football body UEFA has no rules to stop managers wearing the yellow ribbon.

City also insisted in their written reply that Guardiola does not believe the yellow ribbon is a political symbol.

Guardiola started wearing it after October’s independence referendum in Catalonia, arguing it is not “about politicians, it’s about democracy”.

The Spanish government deemed the vote to be illegal and leaders of the independence movement were jailed.

FA chief executive Martin Glenn said “it’s a symbol of Catalan independence” and “we don’t want political symbols in football”.

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Guardiola was charged for wearing it after last month’s FA Cup loss at Wigan and since then he has either not worn the ribbon or he has covered it up.

Speaking ahead of a Champions League tie with Basel he said: “I accept the decision because I have to do but that doesn’t mean I agree or not, or they are right or not.”

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