Guardiola urges support for vote on Catalan independence

Manchester City manager reads manifesto at separatist rally in Barcelona

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has called on the international community to support a referendum on Catalan independence that Spain's government considers illegal.

Guardiola read a manifesto at a rally of several thousand supporters of Catalan independence who gathered at a fountain in Barcelona on Sunday.

He urged "democracies in Europe and around the world to stand by us as we defend our rights of freedom, political expression and the right to vote".

On Friday, Catalonia's regional president Carles Puigdemont announced that his government would hold the independence referendum on October 1st.


Spain’s government has promised to stop the vote on grounds that it is unconstitutional since the matter would affect all Spaniards.

Guardiola is a former manager and player for Barcelona football club.