Ahead of Manchester City’s UEFA Champions League group stage finale against Hoffenheim tomorrow, City manager Pep Guardiola was asked how his winger Raheem Sterling is doing right now after being subjected to abuse from Chelsea fans this past weekend.
Sterling’s only public comments on the situation, which resulted in four Blues supporters being suspended from Stamford Bridge, was a profound social media post that spotlighted an example of racism in media coverage. The Chelsea supporter alleged to have hurled racist remarks at the England international has issued an apology to Sterling, and claims his remarks were misinterpreted by lip readers
“There was concern about what happened but he [Sterling] has been quite good. He made a statement, he was quite clear about his thoughts,” Guardiola said before answering the second part of the query posed to him- what is his take on the situation?
“Racism is everywhere. People focus on football but it is not just in football, unfortunately. What happens with immigrants, refugees around the world, how we treat them. We have to fight for a better society. Raheem said it perfectly. He is an incredible person, an incredible human being.”
That is some poignant, timely and very important commentary from Pep Guardiola here.
Guardiola has been known to be outspoken on social and sociopolitical issues, most especially the fight for independence from Spain in his home state of Catalonia. He was even fined by the English Football Association for expressing his solidarity with that cause.
Regarding the fan, Colin Wing, who was yelling and screaming at Sterling, he claims that he did not say anything racial in nature. He also said that he’s in the wrong entirely, apologized again to the City star and says he’s lost his job in addition to his Chelsea season tickets.
TSG 1899 Hoffenheim vs Manchester City FYIs
Kick-off, TV: 8pm (BST), 3pm (EST), Wednesday December 11th, Etihad Stadium, BT Sport 2 (U.K.), Univision Deportes (USA)
Google Result Probability: Manchester City win 80%, draw 13%, Hoffenheim win 7%
Odds via Betfair: City win 2/11, draw 13/2, Hoffenheim win 14/1
Match Preview: go to this link
City Starting XI Prediction: go to this link
Prediction: Manchester City 3, Hoffenheim 0
Feel free to post your own starting XI predictions, as well as your best guess as to what the final score will be.
Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, regularly appears as a guest pundit on WGN CLTV and co-hosts the “Let’s Get Weird, Sports” podcast on SB Nation.