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Dublin: 0°C Thursday 6 May 2021

Guardiola apologises to anyone offended by his players' Liverpool chant

Pep also put on record his belief that City remain innocent amid Uefa investigation.

Pep Guardiola.
Pep Guardiola.
Image: John Walton

PEP GUARDIOLA TODAY offered an apology to anyone offended by his players’ chant celebrating their Premier League title victory over Liverpool. 

Members of the City squad were filmed singing a reworking of Liverpool’s ‘Allez, allez’ chant made popular by supporters this season, which includes references to Reds’ supporters “crying in the stands” and getting “battered on the streets” supposedly in relation to last year’s Champions League final in Kiev.

It was condemned this week by the brother of Sean Cox, the Irish Liverpool fan who suffered a serious brain injury in an unprovoked assault by Roma supporters last year. 

The song also references Liverpool fans as being “victims”, a phrase commonly associated as being a slur relating to the Hillsborough tragedy. 

Manchester City released a statement to say that “the song in question, which has been a regular chant during the 2018-19 season, refers to the 2018 UEFA Champions League final in Kiev”, adding that “any suggestion that the lyrics relate to Sean Cox or the Hillsborough tragedy is entirely without foundation.”

At his press conference ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup final, Guardiola apologised to anyone who had been offended by the song, saying he was saddened by the idea his players were capable of deliberately seeking to insult others. 

“Just for one second imagine we could offend about these tragedies, it’s incredible,” he said.

“We were happy for ourselves. If someone was offended for another issue I apologise, but it wasn’t our intention. We were happy for ourselves, to win the Premier League is difficult against an incredible contender.”

Elsewhere, Guardiola said he is convinced of Manchester City’s innocence after Uefa’s Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) referred the Premier League champions to its adjudicatory chamber following an investigation into alleged Financial Fair Play (FFP) breaches.

German publication Der Spiegel alleged that City had broken FFP rules, leading to a CFCB investigation, despite City denying the accusations.

Former Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme, serving as chief investigator, has now referred the case to the CFCB’s adjudicatory chamber for a final decision, with City potentially facing a season-long Champions League ban.

City released a statement on Thursday again refuting the allegations, as well as criticising the investigation as “hostile”, claiming that “the decision contains mistakes, misinterpretations and confusions fundamentally borne out of a basic lack of due process.”

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Guardiola insisted he is fully trusting of City’s hierarchy, and issued a reminder that the club are innocent until they are proven guilty.

“I said many times I trust the club, the people.

“I know we won the Premier League and just talk about that, I’m sorry, if we did something wrong we’ll be banned, but right now I know people are waiting for us to be guilty but we are innocent until proven guilty.

“That’s all around the world, we accept it, I spoke with the chairman, the CEO. I know what they did and I trust them – that’s all.

“I’m not going to answer any more questions, my opinion is clear, everything is what would happen, we are innocent today and we’ll see in the future.

“We are innocent, Uefa are now working with the lawyers. I’m not a lawyer, I don’t know what’s [happening] behind the scenes. I don’t know what will happen but we are innocent today.”

The Catalan also confirmed he has no desire to leave City, amid speculation linking him to the Juventus job, vacated today by Max Allegri. 

“How many times do I have to say? I’m not going to go to Juventus, I’m not going to move to Italy.

“I’m satisfied here, I’m not going anywhere. Next season I will be manager of Man City, I said many times.”

Guardiola has two years remaining on his contract with the club. 

Gavan Casey, Murray Kinsella and Andy Dunne look at Ireland’s past in Super Rugby, the creative shift needed in Irish rugby and Peter O’Mahony tells us about his love of gardening..:

Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

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