Martin Glenn, FA chief executive, said that no one should ever wear any political symbol during a football match, including Manchester City manager, Pep Guardiola, and his yellow ribbon.
The Manchester City manager has been seen wearing the yellow ribbon for several times, amidst FA Warning. However, after two warnings went ‘useless,’ The Football Association eventually charged Guardiola last month.
During the International Football Association Board meeting in Zurich, the FA chief executive said that there is no excuse for anyone to display any political symbols. The game should be kept as neutral as possible, as it is a game for everyone to enjoy.
He later added that the yellow ribbon Guardiola was often seen wearing is an apparent political symbol. The yellow ribbon itself is widely recognized today as support for Catalan independence from Spain.
He also stressed that The Football Association had taken action by rewriting Law Four of football to make sure nothing divisive would appear during a game. A football game is supposed to be a neutral match where all of us respect each other. It is not such a place to tell you or your ideas are better than anyone. A football match is where everyone supposed to gather together and enjoy the game, instead of being divided because of any divisive symbols.
These symbols can be anything, including Star of David, a sickle and a hammer, a swastika, Robert Mugabe image, or any political symbols. There is no right and wrong in a football match. It is a game, and everyone is supposed to enjoy it, no matter who you are, where you come from, and your ideology.
Regarding this incident, the FA has given formal warnings to Guardiola back in December. However, after seeing the warnings went ‘unnoticed,’ the FA finally decided to charge the Manchester City manager with breaching advertising and kit regulations this month.
Guardiola has until March 5, 2018, at 18:00 GMT to respond on this issue. Regarding this issue, Guardiola told the media that he is a manager and also a human being. The executive believes that the FA has already known that everything they do to him will be useless. He will keep wearing the yellow ribbon. Guardiola thinks that wearing the fabric has nothing to do with politics. It is an act of humanity and democracy. He believes by doing so; he is helping those who choose not to do anything.
Political symbols are not a strange thing seen in a football. It happened several times in the past and it seems not even FIFA can rule out how to fix the issue. They might be right about the game should be kept as neutral as possible, but as Guardiola said, we are still human. Sometimes, people cannot just ignore other people’s condition. Displaying the symbol is how they express their opinion. Perhaps, FIFA should take this into their future consideration while writing the law.