FA Chief Executive gives simple reason why Pep Guardiola shouldn't wear yellow ribbon 3 years ago

FA Chief Executive gives simple reason why Pep Guardiola shouldn't wear yellow ribbon

It has caused quite a storm

Pep Guardiola has found himself in the middle of a storm by continuing to wear a yellow ribbon on the touchline during football matches. The FA warned the Manchester City manager and then issued a fine, but Guardiola has continued to wear the ribbon.


The ribbon symbolises solidarity with the imprisoned Catalan politicians and his support for the independence movement in Catalonia. His open support for the movement while simultaneously working for Manchester City, who are bankrolled Abu Dhabi, has given Manchester City and the club's fans a collective human rights migraine.

But ignoring City's links with The UAE, FA Chief Executive Martin Glenn has explained that Guardiola should not wear the yellow ribbon, because:

"You can't have and we don't want football equipment to display political symbols."

Glenn was speaking at the International Football Association Board (Ifab) meeting in Zurich, where the use of VAR at the upcoming World Cup was approved.

Glenn continued: "To be very clear, his yellow ribbon is a political symbol, it's a symbol of Catalan independence."

"I can tell you there are many more Spaniards, non-Catalans, who are upset by it.


"We have rewritten the laws of the game so that things like a poppy are OK but things that are going to be highly divisive, and that could be strong religious symbols, these are the things we don't want."

Some may argue that the poppy has also become a political symbol, but from the FA's point of view it is not and therefore the comparison doesn't apply.

What can't be disputed is that the yellow ribbon is political, and regardless of your stance on the very complex issue in Catalonia, the laws are clear on political symbols in football.

Guardiola has previously stated on the issue:

"Before a manager, I am a human being," the 47-year-old Spaniard said.

"They [the FA] know I'll wear the yellow ribbon always. It's not about politicians, it's about democracy; it's about helping the people who didn't do absolutely anything."