It was only going to be a matter of time. Ever since Pep Guardiola first appeared wearing the yellow ribbon on his clothing, we were waiting for the repercussions. The FA have issued a couple of warnings to the City boss, all of which were ignored. Now the FA have charged the City boss over the issue.
There is a sense of the timing of the charge was deliberately timed by the FA, but I am not so sure. I do, however, think the hypocrisy shown by the FA is something which should have the light shone on.
A statement on the FA’s website states that “Pep Guardiola has been charged for wearing a political message, specifically a yellow ribbon, in breach of The FA’s kit and advertising regulations”.
So is the yellow ribbon a political message? It is worn in support of the imprisoned Catalonian politicians, Jordi Cuixart and Jordi Sanchez. The two, who are Presidents of political groups Omnium and ANC, were imprisoned for allowing the Independence vote.
But the FA can bend their rules for their own means. Just look at the issue for the home nations, including the FA, when they wanted to wear poppy’s on their shirts. Let me be clear, I am all for displaying the poppies, if that’s what you want.
The FA went to war, and defied UEFA for the cause, and I would expect Pep Guardiola to do the same. The FA’s argument that the poppy was not a “political, religious or commercial message” was that it wasn’t tied to a particular historical event.
Remember, the Poppies tradition started as a directly after the end of the First World War, although later included the Second World War also. But that’s not the only political statements made by the FA.
Recently the FA Chairman, Greg Clarke signed a deal with Qatar. The hosts of the 2022 World Cup have their own issues with human rights violations. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have all made their concerns public regarding the migrant worker policy in the country, to name just one issue.
Players lift shirts to show messages, both political and personal, but the majority will not face sanctions, or be subject to fines or bans. With this stance being taken by the FA, I think it opens everyone up to punishment.
For Pep, with the deadline for a response being next Monday, it seems as though the FA will not be satisfied. In fact I wouldn’t be surprised if he wore it at the upcoming Cup Final, which will do nothing to calm the FA suits.
Will he be issued a fine? Will Pep have to serve a touch-line ban? I am sure neither side will back down and this issue will continue. Surely pitch invasions, player assaults and other, more serious issues within the control of the FA should be taking all the attention.