Manchester City Coach Guardiola Joins Catalan Independence Rally in Barcelona

BY :JAKARTA GLOBE

JUNE 13, 2017

Jakarta. Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola joined thousands in Barcelona on Sunday (11/06) in a rally to demand a referendum for Catalan independence.

Guardiola, a former player and coach of FC Barcelona, has stated his support for Catalonia to break free from Spain many times in the past.

He told a crowd of more than 40,000 in the rally on Sunday that international leaders should help the Catalans get their rights to vote for independence, English newspaper The Guardian reported.

"We have tried on 18 occasions to reach an agreement on a referendum and the answer has always been no," he told the crowd.

"We have no other option but to vote. We call on the international community to support us and on democrats the world over to help us to defend the rights that are threatened in Catalonia, such as the right to freedom of expression and the right to vote."

"We will vote, even if the Spanish state doesn't want it," he added.

So far, the Spanish government has stood firm against the demand for a referendum, even though the Catalan administration declared on Friday it will hold a poll in October.

"They can announce a referendum as many times as they want… but it is not going to take place," Spain’s deputy prime minister, Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría, said.

LaLiga clash between Real Madrid and Barcelona, nicknamed El Clasico, is always a passionate affair, often reflecting the political tension between the Spaniards and the Catalans. Real so far is leading in the El Clasico with 72 wins over Barcelona's 69.

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