English Football Association chief executive Martin Glenn hit out at Pep Guardiola, saying many Spaniards were "p***** off" by the Manchester City manager's decision to wear a yellow ribbon. Guardiola was charged by the FA for wearing a yellow ribbon in support of imprisoned activists who campaigned for Catalan independence. Despite the charge, the Spaniard has been defiant in his stance, but Glenn feels there is no doubt the ribbon is a political symbol.
Keeping politics out of football
"We have re-written Law 4 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, it could be the Star of David, it could be the hammer and sickle, it could be a swastika, anything like Robert Mugabe on your shirt, these are the things we don't want," he told UK newspapers. "And to be honest, and to be very clear, Pep Guardiola's yellow ribbon is a political symbol, it's a symbol of Catalan independence. And, I can tell, you there are many more Spaniards, non-Catalans, who are p***** off by it. All we are doing is even-handedly applying the Laws of the Game. Poppies are not political symbols; that yellow ribbon is."
Line must be drawn
Glenn questioned where the FA would stop if it allowed Guardiola to continue wearing his ribbon. "Where do you draw the line – should we have someone with a UKIP [UK Independence Party] badge, someone with an ISIS badge?" he said. "That's why you have to be pretty tough that local, regional, national party organisations cannot use football shirts to represent them."