PEP GUARDIOLA, manager of Manchester City FC and former Barcelona boss, has voiced a powerful call to arms for Catalonia´s independence sparking international support.
On the steps of Monthuis, Barcelona, Guardiola delivered a brief manifesto in Catalan, Spanish and English to an audience of over 40,000 supporters flying “we love democracy” banners.
“We have tried on 18 separate occasions to reach an agreement on a referendum and the answer has always been no,” he announced to the crowd.
“We have no other option but to vote. We call on the international community to support us and on democrats all over the world to help us to defend the rights that are threatened in Catalonia, such as the right of freedom of expression and the right to vote.”
Although Spain´s constitutional court previously ruled that the non-binding referendum held in November 2014 was illegal, Raul Romeva, the Catalan foreign minister, insisted that there was nothing in the Spanish constitution that could stop a new vote from going ahead.
“We know that people want to be asked the question,” he continued. “And if the result of the referendum is no, we´ll respect that result, full stop.
“And if it´s yes, that result will have to be respected. I don´t know what the result will be – no one does.”