Football Association (FA) chief executive Martin Glenn has taken issue with Manchester City chief Pep Guardiola over the manager’s insistence on wearing a yellow ribbon.
Speaking at a recent media conference, Glenn said, “You can’t have – and we don’t want football equipment to display political symbols. That has always been the case. The problem we had with poppies is that for some reason a new person at FIFA seemed to think poppies were a political symbol and we fought hard against that notion and thankfully sense broke out.”
The Englishman continued, “We have rewritten law 4 of the game so that things like a poppy are OK but things that are going to be highly divisive are not. All we are doing is even-handedly applying the laws of the game. Poppies are not political symbols, that yellow ribbon is.”
Glenn further went on record to state the governing body’s main reservation with Pep’s yellow ribbon by adding, “To be honest and to be very clear, Pep Guardiola’s yellow ribbon is a political stance, it’s a symbol of Catalan independence and I can tell you there are many more Spaniards, non-Catalans, who are p***ed off by it.”
The bigwing continued, “Where do you draw the line – should we have someone with a UKIP badge, someone with an ISIS badge?”
A large section of analysts and lawmakers agree with the FA’s position on the matter. Some, however, argue the universal nature of the freedom of expression and whether the FA has the right to impose restrictions on individuals who choose to exercise it.