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Guardiola dedicates win to jailed Catalan separatists

Manchester City’s Spanish manager Pep Guardiola shouts instructions to his players during the UEFA Champions League Group F football match between Manchester City and Napoli in Manchester on October 17, 2017 © AFP / Oli SCARFF

MANCHESTER, United Kingdom, Oct 18 – Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola dedicated his team’s 2-1 win over Napoli in the Champions League on Tuesday to the two Catalan separatist leaders detained in Spain.

“This win is dedicated to them,” Guardiola told reporters at the Etihad Stadium, in response to a question on the matter from a Spanish journalist.

“We have shown in Catalonia that citizenship is bigger than any ideas. We hope they will be released soon.”

Tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Barcelona on Tuesday to protest against the Madrid-based National Court’s ruling to keep Jordi Cuixart and Jordi Sanchez behind bars pending investigations into sedition charges.

It follows the bitterly contested Catalan independence referendum which was ruled illegal by Spain’s Constitutional Court.

Guardiola, a Catalan, is one of the most famous figures associated with Barcelona Football Club, having won multiple trophies there as both player and coach.

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