Pep Guardiola has spoken out about the Catalan crisis, describing the situation surrounding his home region as “scary”.
Nine former minsters from the dissolved Catalan parliament appeared in front of Spanish court on Thursday amid accusations of rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds.
Guardiola has frequently come out in favour of a vote to determine the future of the region and possible independence.
Ahead of City’s Premier League match against Arsenal on Sunday, he again expressed his belief that democracy in Spain is regressing.
“I wish that the politicians who they have put in prison are released soon,” he said.
“I’m worried because what happened to them could happen to us for giving an opinion, it could happen to anyone.
“The two Jordis leading the Catalan organisation were put in prison for asking to vote in a legal referendum.
“I think the Spanish government and the Catalan government should sit and talk and try to agree a referendum for both sides.
“Until then it’s a really difficult situation to be solved. These politicians are in prison for fulfilling the electoral programme. They were fulfilling the wish of the Catalan people.
“Now them and their families are suffering this situation. It can happen to other people, to all of us, just for wanting to vote. That was the main desire of the Catalan people.
“It’s a little bit scary – we are going backwards in a democratic state, that we have regressed so much in the rule of law.”