MANCHESTER CITY outcast Carlos Tevez has been presumed guilty of refusing to play on the basis of flawed evidence, his advisor Kia Joorabchian insisted yesterday.
Joorabchian, who is not an agent but has a long association with Tevez, said television footage of his alleged refusal to come off the bench during last week’s defeat at Bayern Munich was confusing and misleading.
He added that a post-match interview with Tevez, in which he appeared to admit his refusal to play, was completely mistranslated and said that – other Premier League clubs and managers would have treated the player differently.
Tevez is currently serving a two-week suspension while City conduct an internal review of the incident, after which City manager Roberto Mancini declared the striker’s career at the club to be “finished”.
While the 27-year-old looks certain to leave the club in January, Joorabchian (inset) declined to forecast Tevez’s intentions but conceded the former West Ham star felt unfairly treated.
“There is an investigation going on. I don’t want to predict what Carlos wants and doesn’t want to do,” he told the Leaders in Football conference yesterday. “I think what he feels is he has been clearly judged and condemned before the case has really been looked into.”
The day after the now-notorious incident, Tevez released a statement insisting his apparent refusal to take the pitch had been a “misunderstanding”, something Joorabchian said television pictures did not convey.
“The main issue is that what happened on the bench in Munich is a lot of confusion,” he added. “We didn’t see what really happened on the bench. The TV footage showed a totally different light.”
He continued: “My opinion is that Carlos has fought throughout his career to play. I’ve never known him to be the contrary.”
Tevez was interviewed via a translator after the Bayern match, with a City employee quoting him as saying: “I did not feel right to play so I did not.” That version of events was disputed by Joorabchian.
“Carlos does speak English but it’s not good enough to host a full-blown interview. If you don’t have a very professional interpreter then you have a problem. Both questions were interpreted incorrectly, and both answers were then misinterpreted.”
Joorabchian cited Cesc Fabregas and Luka Modric as examples of players who also wanted to leave their clubs – Arsenal and Tottenham – but who were treated more favourably. “Roberto [Mancini] has his style of management and his style is very direct; it’s totally different to that of, say, Sir Alex Ferguson.”
NO WAY BACK? PLAYERS WHO CAME BACK FROM THE BRINK
HE MAY look certain to leave Manchester City at present, but Carlos Tevez would not be the first footballer to smooth out seemingly irreconcilable differences. Here are three:
Wayne Rooney stunned Manchester United with his public request for a transfer. A mere 12 months on and back in the form of his life, the episode has long since been forgotten.
Luka Modric’s Tottenham days looked numbered when he asked to miss the Man City game this season because he was interested in leaving. Now back in the team and flying.
Steven Gerrard performed a huge U-turn in 2005 when he pulled out of a proposed move to Chelsea at the 11th hour and reaffirmed his commitment to boyhood club Liverpool.