- Spanish boss sympathetic to protesters, but says club is unaffected by febrile atmosphere
- Guardiola gives his views on a solution while Kitchee chairman Ken Ng says he is no problem with plan for fans to protest at the game
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola dismissed concerns that protests in Hong Kong would affect his team's plans ahead of their meeting with local side Kitchee on Wednesday.
However, he said it affected him on a personal level. "(The protests) affect me like a human being because I don't like to watch it," the Spaniard said.
Guardiola offered his opinion that there would be a solution to the protests over the extradition bill that have been ongoing since June.
"Always in society we have to accept protests. I am pretty sure with the government they are going to be in agreement (about) no violence and they are going to solve the problem.
"But we are here, of course, to live the incredible experience of being in China to play football and enjoy (the occasion) with the Kitchee fans tomorrow.
"I am pretty sure the government (and) the protest people are going to find a solution, the right solution to move forward and that's all."
Talk of protests dominated the media conference ahead of the Jockey Club Kitchee Centre Cup clash between the English champions and Kitchee, with rumours suggesting there would be a demonstration of some sort at Hong Kong Stadium during the game on Wednesday.
Fans have been encouraged on social media to sing "Do You Hear the People Sing" in the 21st minute . They have also been asked to wear black clothing, facemasks and helmets into the stadium. HK01 reported that Kitchee's "Blue Wave Ultras" supporters group back the move.
Kitchee chairman Ken Ng Kin told HK01 that he was unconcerned with fans' plans. He said that football was a part of life and as long as fans did not violate security checks at the stadium then he had no problem with it.
No, there has been no impact. We're aware of the situation
Ng also distanced the club from links with pro-Beijing lawmaker Junius Ho, saying that the club's only links with Ho were in the past and through the Hong Kong FA when he was a director there.Man City player Raheem Sterling
Guardiola said he did not have any concerns over the club's safety in Hong Kong.
"I am pretty sure (at some point) people are going to (reach) an agreement, just sit and talk like human beings, where both sides talk and talk, and they are going to solve the problem."
Due to the close relationship between Kitchee and Yuen Long lawmaker Junius Ho, who has been seen congratulating white-clothed mobsters believed to be triads yesterday, some protests are expected in the upcoming Kitchee vs Man City friendly @ManCity #hkfootball
" Football in HK (@offsideHK) July 22, 2019
Manchester City footballer Raheem Sterling said the situation has not had an impact on the squad so far.
"No, there has been no impact. We're aware of the situation," he said.
"We're getting on with training. This is an important time for us to get ready."
After Hong Kong, the club travel to Japan for their final preseason game before playing Uefa Champions League winners Liverpool in the FA Community Shield in the English season curtain-raiser on August 4.
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