Pep Guardiola accuses FA head of ignorance over Catalan ribbon

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola — seen here wearing the yellow ribbon in question — during a press conference. (REUTERS)
Updated 06 March 2018
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Pep Guardiola accuses FA head of ignorance over Catalan ribbon

MANCHESTER: Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says Martin Glenn’s “extraordinary” comments about the wearing of a yellow ribbon in support of Catalan politicians demonstrated the FA chief executive’s ignorance of the subject.
Guardiola says he got the impression that Glenn “didn’t understand what the yellow ribbon means. It is simple like that. He made a comment that is far away from what it means.”
Speaking to reporters over the weekend, Glenn said the ribbon was “a political symbol” of Catalan independence that annoyed many Spaniards.
Guardiola said Tuesday that the ribbon is not about independence but support of “four people who are in jail when they didn’t do anything to be in jail.”


Saudi Arabia set to face Uruguay veterans in key World Cup clash

Updated 39 min 30 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia set to face Uruguay veterans in key World Cup clash

  • Carlos Sanchez and Cristian Rodriguez set to start for Oscar Tabarez's side
  • Green Falcon are seeking redemption after Russia thrashing

ROSTOV-ON-DON, Russia: Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez is poised to hand starting places to veteran opening-game substitutes Carlos Sanchez and Cristian Rodriguez when they meet Saudi Arabia on Wednesday.
With the reputation of being a midfield hardman, Rodriguez — whose nickname “The Onion” was passed on from his father — has appeared for his country more than 100 times. He played at Paris Saint-Germain, Benfica, Porto and Atletico Madrid before returning home to top-flight Penarol. Sanchez has won 33 caps but has not started for his country since March last year. They both came off the bench before the hour mark against Egypt and helped change the game.
“What’s important is that we won our opening game ... and that we win the next one,” Rodriguez said.
An avid horse rider and kickboxer, he is proudly old-school and views video review as an enemy of spontaneity.
“Personally, I don’t like VAR because the Uruguayan — well, Latin American — style relies on being fast-footed,” Rodriguez said. “It doesn’t help us. It does help referees, though, especially when there are serious fouls.”
The two-time champions are aware of the Russian tournament’s potential for upsets and they were pushed hard by Egypt on Friday.
“This is a very balanced World Cup,” Rodriguez said. “Nobody really expected results like the ones with from Argentina and Brazil.”
Those perennial contenders were held to draws in their opening games.
Another surprise came in Uruguay’s Group A, when Russia shook off a shaky recent record to thrash Saudi Arabia 5-0 in Moscow.
The game, attended by Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, forced the Saudi team and coach Juan Antonio Pizzi into damage control. The Saudi Arabian Football Federation has gone through three national team coaches in the past year. Its vice president, Nawaf Al-Tamayat, publicly scolded players’ “confusion and distractedness” and described the loss as being beyond “an honorable level.” Pizzi called the defeat a “shameful situation.”
The feeling is that the humiliation by Russia may force Pizzi to abandon his ambitions of fielding an attack-minded team for a more conservative lineup, but the Green Falcons only play one up top and need a positive result if they are to get out of the group.