Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola claims ‘I could be in prison too’ after bringing the yellow ribbon back out to show his support for the Catalan regime.
Guardiola was charged by the English FA earlier in the year for wearing the ribbon, with it being viewed as a political message and breach of kit and advertising regulations, although the governing body permits use of the poppy.
“I’m not allowed to wear it in games, I know that,” the former Barcelona Coach said at a Press conference for Sunday’s Manchester derby, where he will come up against ex-Real Madrid rival Jose Mourinho.
“What disappoints me is that these people are still in prison a year later and they were accused of something they didn’t do.
“If they’re still there then I could be too. There are people who have been wrongly imprisoned for more than a year.
“They’re not politicians, they just expressed their opinions. That’s why I support them with the ribbon.
“The FA then punished me for wearing it and I accept that, but I can wear it in Press conferences and that’s why I’m wearing it now.
“I’d also like you to support me if I’m jailed unfairly too. I always wear it, unless I forget it or leave it in my pocket.”
Those in prison were put behind bars for their involvement in the Catalan independence referendum last October, the Spanish government having deemed it illegal.
Guardiola was then asked whether a quote attributed to former Barca right-back Dani Alves, that playing under the 47-year-old was ‘better than sex’, was true.
“I prefer the sex by far!” he added, before taking a sideswipe at Zlatan Ibrahimovic without mentioning his name.
“I can see a huge list that is the opposite side, a list where they love me a lot, and Dani is one of them.
"But the other side, in Sweden and other places, they don’t like me as much. Normally the people who don’t play regularly, they are not fans.
“We try to convince them – sometimes yes, sometimes no.”