Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola defends Catalonia's independence referendum
- By Alice Wheatley
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola attended a pro-independence rally in Barcelona on Sunday (June 11) and defended Catalonia's right to vote, after the head of the region Carles Puigdemont announced on Friday that they would hold a referendum on splitting from Spain on 1 October. Speaking to a large crowd gathered at the Montjuic fountains, the former Barcelona player said the Catalans would decide their future by voting despite the Spanish government's constant refusal, and called for the international community to support Catalonia against an "authoritarian state". Puigdemont's announcement has exacerbated the confrontation with the central government in Madrid which says such a vote is illegal and must not take place. The Spanish government said that it would block any attempt to hold a vote as soon as the referendum announcement was formally rubber-stamped by Catalan authorities.