Pep Guardiola wants Barcelona to lead Catalunya’s independence
FC Barcelona haven’t shown their clear stance on Catalunya’s independence referendum, but their former manager and most celebrated son of Catalunya – Pep Guardiola wants Barcelona to lead Catalunya’s independence.
Guardiola has been quite vocal on his support for the Catalunya’s independence referendum and he has asked Barcelona to lead the movement. He told Marca, “Barcelona must play an important role in the process. It is impossible to understand Barcelona without knowing what happened in Catalonia in the past.”
As we know, independence referendum didn’t go well. Spanish authority used their power to neutralize the movement, and police didn’t show any mercy on the voters. People were beaten and stopped from voting, leaving many injured.
Meanwhile, Barcelona played a closed door game against Las Palmas on the very same day. Barcelona is symbolic to Catalans and the club must have refused to play the game, but club president Josep Maria Bartomeu chosen a more diplomatic way to go ahead.
He said, “It would have been six points for not playing the game. Three points for not playing and three as a result of sanction. We regret what has happened in Catalonia today. It is denying of freedom and expression and we’re worried. We decided instead of cancelling the game, which is what we wanted, it will be played behind closed doors. It was a way to show our rejection of what has been experienced today. It wasn’t a security issue.”
Everybody knows, it was totally a diplomatic decision. Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde did back the decision, but he couldn’t back his words. He said, “It was an extraordinary act in an extraordinary situation. We played behind closed doors in a delicate moment for everyone. The impact of any empty Camp Nou is powerful, even more than not playing, although I don’t know.”
Guardiola knows that it’s tough for man with authority to handle these situations, but he didn’t back Bartomeu decision to go with the match. He gave an example of Guus Hiddink’s strong decision to stop Valencia match in the middle, when someone in the crowd unfurled Nazi flags.
Manchester City manager said, “It is impossible, but I understand that sometimes being on the board or being the president, being in power, means you must manage the situation. Sometimes, that isn’t easy but you can’t deny that Barcelona is very important with the identification with our language and culture.”
He adds, “Why can’t public figures get involved in this, when people relate sports and politics. Years ago, in Valencia, Guus Hiddink, who is one of the greatest coaches in history, stopped a game because he saw Nazi flags in the crowd. He said that if those flags with swastikas were not removed then they wouldn’t play. Of course, he used his power but when it is done for this kind of thing then it is very good.”
Mr. Perfectionist also said that Barcelona will play in Spanish Primera Division (La Liga) or not is least of a concern. He adds, “I think it is the least of the worries if Barcelona play in the Spanish league or not. If society makes a decision, the solution will be found. In the end, what is decided in the referendum will determine a way for people to live better, or not.”