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Guardiola to continue wearing Catalan yellow ribbon

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola (L) celebrates after winning the Carabao Cup Action on 25 February, 2018. Reuters/Carl Recine

Pep Guardiola intends to continue to wear a yellow ribbon in support of Catalan "political prisoners", despite repeated pressure from the English Football Association (FA).

The Manchester City manager has been charged by the FA with breaching rules that ban political symbols during games.

Guardiola wore the ribbon before, during and after City's League Cup success at Wembley Stadium against Arsenal and then delivered a passionate defence of a public show of solidarity that started at the end of last year.

"Before a manager, I am a human being," Guardiola said, comparing Catalonia's situation to the recent UK referendums on Scottish independence and exiting the European Union.

"You did the Brexit, you let people have their opinion," he declared. "You allowed Scotland to make a referendum about if you want to stay or not. And, after, the people vote.

"That is what Catalans want and they are in jail right now."

Guardiola has twice seen his private plane searched by police searching for independence leader Carles Puigdemont, who fled to Belgium under threat of arrest after his regional government organised a referendum on independence in defiance of Madrid.

"They do not have weapons," Guardiola said this weekend. "The weapons that we have is just the vote, the ballot.

"It is not about politicians; it is about democracy and helping the people who did not do absolutely anything."