Tevez: Joorabchian blames Mancini and translator
The mutinous player’s adviser insists that he did not refuse to play and criticises Mancini
IRANIAN super-agent Kia Joorabchian has waded into the Carlos Tevez affair, claiming the Manchester City striker's apparent refusal to play against Bayern Munich was the result of "misunderstanding" rather than a mutiny, claiming that Tevez's comments were mistranslated and placing much of the blame for the furore at the door of City boss Roberto Mancini.
Joorabchian, who once held Tevez's economic rights and helped bring him to England with West Ham in 2006, is now his adviser. And he delivered a passionate case for the defence at a conference in London yesterday. "What happened on the bench in Munich was a lot of confusion as shown on the TV footage," said Joorabchian, pleading for people not to pre-judge the outcome of City's ongoing investigation.
He went on to criticize the translation of Tevez's post-match remarks, claiming that the Argentine was misquoted and had not refused to play. However, independent translations have subsequently emerged which contradict this claim, and all of them agree that the striker used the age old excuse of saying he was not mentally prepared to enter the fray.
Tevez is currently suspended for two weeks, and Manager Roberto Mancini has said that he will never play for the club again after he apparently refused to come on as a substitute during City's 2-0 defeat at Bayern Munich last month. Tevez is expected to return to training on Thursday.
Joorabchian suggested that the Italian manager could have taken a softer stance, and even claimed that other high-profile Premier League players had escaped punishment for similar behaviour.
"We have seen this happen all through the summer," Joorabchian said. "I think we have seen [Cesc] Fabregas, [Luka] Modric, [Samir] Nasri refuse to play. Those managers and clubs handled it very differently. Robert has his style of management. He is very direct."
The claim has led to some raised eyebrows. Nasri played for Arsenal three days before transferring to Manchester City. The reference to Luka Modric, who has remained at Tottenham after requesting a move to Chelsea, has been interpreted as opening the possibility of reconciliation. Joorabchian was keen to stress that Tevez is now happy in Manchester after a series of well publicised criticisms of the city, its weather and restaurants.
Joorabchian's comments, which came at a Leaders of Football conference at Stamford Bridge yesterday, were seen as a political gambit in some quarters. Journalist Owen Gibson told the BBC: "In raising this confusion he's made it very hard for City to sack him without paying compensation." ·