Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is under investigation by the Spanish police after publicly supporting the Catalan independence movement, according to reports in Spain.
Guardiola is a known supporter of the campaign for Catalonia to become an independent state and one that isn’t governed by Spain’s central government in Madrid.
The City boss attended a pro-independence rally in Barcelona in the summer with Carles Puigdemont, president of the Catalan government, along with tens of thousands of demonstrators.
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola addressed tens of thousands of people in the summer
Guardiola, who used pro-independence rhetoric, was warmly greeted by supporters
Guardiola attended the rally with Carles Puigdemont, president of the Catalan government
The former Barcelona manager told the mass crowd that he would be voting for independence on October 1 ‘even if the Spanish state doesn’t want it’.
Although the vote wasn’t recognised by Madrid, Spanish police have launched investigations into high-profile figures who attempted to sway public opinion.
A Police statement, which is quoted in Spanish newspaper El Nacional, states that a ‘manifesto was read by Josep Guardiola and intended to mobilize all supporters of independece’.
The City manager’s actions at the rally have apparently been noted by Spanish police
The newspaper also reports that Guardiola’s actions allegedly resulted in a ‘crime of rebellion’.
Guardiola’s support of the independence movement was brought up recently by Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho.
Mourinho questioned whether his old rival should be allowed to wear a yellow ribbon on the touchline in support of the Catalan politicians jailed last month.
Jose Mourinho questioned whether Guardiola should be allowed to wear a yellow ribbon
The United boss suggested the overtly political symbol, supporting those fighting for independence for Catalonia, should not be allowed, and even suggested it would be more controversial if he wore the ribbon, rather than his rival.
‘I’ve known Pep for many years,’ he said. ‘I think I know what Pep feels about his country. To have it in football, I don’t know the rules.
‘If the rules allow us to do that, he is a free citizen to do it, but I am not sure if the rules allow any political message on the pitch. That’s just my doubt. I think I wouldn’t be allowed to, that’s just what I think.’
UEFA have actually changed their rules this season, meaning that only offensive messages are forbidden – a stance shared by the FA – and that Guardiola was free to wear the ribbon.