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Pep Guardiola did not ‘refuse to shake hands with Israeli representative’ at FA Cup final, Reuters Fact Check confirms

A video widely circulating on social media does not, as claimed, show that Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola “refused to shake hands with the Israeli representative” following last weekend’s FA Cup final defeat to cross-town rivals Manchester United.

The video, which has been viewed millions of times, shows Guardiola apparently bypassing a man, who is circled and tagged with an image of the Israeli flag. It has been widely held up as an example of Guardiola showing his opposition to Israel’s invasion of Gaza by gullible social media users.

Reuters Fact Check, however, has established that the video actually shows Guardiola collecting a Community Shield runners-up medal following last August’s defeat in the season opener to Arsenal, two months before the latest escalation of violence in the Palestinian Territories.

The person whose hand Guardiola failed to shake, meanwhile, was not an “Israeli representative,” but English former Crystal Palace manager Alan Smith, who told Reuters that he “was not and has never been an Israeli representative.” Smith attended the game as a guest of the FA, and said that he enjoyed good relations with Manchester City and its officials, and that Guardiola may simply have been distracted when he appeared to snub his hand shake.

Reuters concludes: “The video does not show Pep Guardiola refusing to shake hands with an Israeli representative.”

Prolific North has asked Manchester City for comment.

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