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Tuesday, October 4, 2011
Tevez: I did not refuse to play

Harris Harris, Football Correspondent

Carlos Tevez continues to insist that he refused to warm up but didn't refuse to play when ordered to by his manager Roberto Mancini during Manchester City's Champions League match at Bayern Munich.

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Tevez has been quizzed by the club over the controversial incident and ESPNsoccernet understands that his distinction regarding his indiscipline might not be enough to save the striker from a charge of gross misconduct by the club.

City's lawyers are studying the terms of Tevez's contract after the £50 million striker was interviewed at his Cheshire home on Monday.

A club car carrying a legal representative and a member of City's human resources staff arrived at the player's house in Alderley Edge at about 16.00 BST and left 80 minutes later. City were anxious to hold it away from the Etihad Stadium and the Carrington training complex for fear of a media scrum, and it is possible that he could be interviewed for a second time before a final decision is reached.

Tevez continues to deny Mancini's claim that he refused to come on as a substitute. He claims that he told Mancini that, having already warmed up, there was no need for him to warm up again.

Tevez does not believe he needs to apologise to Mancini as he still insists he has done nothing wrong. But it was pointed out to Tevez and his camp that immediately after the game he gave a televised interview in which he stated he was not in the right mind to play.

That footage forms part of City's internal inquiry, while Mancini has submitted an official complaint to his employers. Members of the coaching and fitness staff who were in the dug-out back up Mancini's version of events.

City have interviewed most of Tevez's team-mates who were on the substitutes' bench but not all of them as yet.

The outcome of the internal enquiry is due by the end of this week, and it doesn't look promising for Tevez.

ESPNsoccernet has learned that the club's owners and hierarchy are backing Mancini's stance that Tevez will not play for City again.

A two-week suspension with full pay is currently in place but if gross misconduct is established, then Tevez will be fined two weeks' wages.

The next step is to take the issue to the Professional Footballers' Association to have a further six-week ban and fine imposed A total of two months' wages will cost the player around £2 million.

With the transfer window opening in January, Tevez will then play reserve team football for a month. If he refuses he will be suspended and fined all over again. That could take the cost of his actions above the £3 million mark.

City are concerned that Tevez has hired a PR representative since Munich and there has been, according to club sources, a great deal of mischief making - to the extent of a smear campaign against Mancini.

City have not ordered Tevez to call off a holiday with his family, as he is not in Argentina's squad for their first two World Cup qualifiers, but merely to stay for the interviews, and Tevez will be permitted to leave the country as soon as the hearing is concluded.

• Harry Harris' new book: 19: The Remarkable Story of United's League Championship Record is available now.




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