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‘They don’t deserve it’: Guardiola speaks out against jailing of Catalan leaders

Football coach describes current situation as “frightening” because “it can happen to anyone”



13 February 2018 11:32 AM


ACN | Barcelona

Football coach Pep Guardiola has spoken out against the imprisonment of Catalan ministers, Oriol Junqueras and Joaquim Forn, as well as against the incarceration of pro-independence grassroots leaders, Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Cuixart. “There is so little humanity, they do not deserve it,” said Guardiola referring to the jailed Catalan leaders, who have now been behind bars for more than 100 days.

In an interview with the Catalan public broadcaster TV3, the Manchester City coach also described the current situation in Catalonia as “frightening,” as what is happening to Catalan leaders “can happen to anyone.” In addition, he called for their release, and hoped they soon regain their freedom. “Hopefully they will be released soon so they can be with their families,” he said.  

  • “Hopefully they will be released soon so they can be with their families”

    Pep Guardiola · Football coach 

Heavily involved in Catalan politics

Guardiola has always been heavily involved in Catalan politics, and during the TV3 interview he wore a yellow ribbon, which has become the symbol of support for the jailed Catalan leaders. In fact, it is quite common to see him wearing a yellow ribbon on his jacket when managing his team, Manchester City, in matches both in England and abroad.

In the past, Guardiola also publicly came out in favor of holding the independence referendum in Catalonia. He actually participated in a mass event organized by pro-independence civic organizations in support of the Catalan government’s aims to hold the referendum.

Following the enforcement of Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution, and Madrid’s imposition of direct rule in Catalonia, Guardiola continued to speak out against the political situation. He has publicly defended Catalan institutions, as well as Catalan leaders.


  • pep_guardiola_catalans_want_to_vote_tshirt

  • Manchester City's Manager, Catalan Pep Guardiola wearing a T-shirt reading 'Catalans want to vote' (by ACN)