Pep Guardiola has accepted a Football Association charge over wearing a yellow ribbon in support of Catalan independence.
The Manchester City manager replied to the charge on Saturday and said he will not actively breach the FA’s regulations on kit and advertising in future.
However Guardiola has not apologised and has made it clear that while he will recognise the regulations and adhere to what is demanded by the FA it does not mean he agrees with them. He can continue to wear the ribbon during matches as long as it is not visible.
Guardiola was charged by the FA after it was deemed he had breached the rules by continuing to wear the ribbon in support of Catalan activists who have been jailed. The FA said its rules prohibited “any political message” during games.
Guardiola did not make the yellow ribbon visible in City’s recent Premier League matches against Arsenal and Chelsea. Instead, against Chelsea, the yellow symbol that Guardiola was wearing was – in line with other managers – the daffodil symbol in support of the Marie Curie charity.
He was charged after the ribbon was shown during City’s FA Cup tie against Wigan Athletic but, even then, Guardiola attempted to cover the ribbon up during the game only for his jacket to become unzipped in what was a lively encounter, including his clash with Wigan manager Paul Cook.
According to FA regulations: “The appearance on, or incorporation in, any item of clothing (including football boots) of any distasteful, threatening, abusive, indecent, insulting, discriminatory or otherwise ethically or morally offensive message, or any political message, is prohibited.”
In addition, in his submission to the FA, Guardiola rightly pointed out that the FA’s stance is not in line with other governing bodies. For example Uefa has no problem with him wearing the yellow ribbon and he will continue to do so during Champions League matches.
An independent commission will now decide what course of action to take against Guardiola given he has now admitted the charge. The organisation does not have a problem with Guardiola wearing the yellow ribbon before or after games and he will do that, in press conferences, for example, but he can also wear it on the touchline – such as under his jumper – as long as it is not visible.