This is one battle that football needs Manchester City to win

Most football fans, especially those affiliated with Manchester City, may have felt that Carlos Tevez could not do anything to surprise them anymore or cause their opinions of him to sink any lower. Sadly they would be very wrong. Poor Carlos, who let’s not forget is recovering from an eating disorder caused by the stress of playing for Manchester City and living in England on hundreds of thousands of pounds per week, has now hinted that he is considering suing manager Roberto Mancini for defamation of character after the Italian stated Tevez had refused to play during that fateful night at the Allianz Arena.

Manchester City have this week cleared Tevez of such accusations, instead finding the Argentinian guilty of ‘failing to warm up’ and fined the player four weeks wages, suspending him for two. It is this lack of backbone showed by City that has led to this ridiculous situation for the club and more to the point Roberto Mancini, who has shown far more integrity and strength than either the club or Tevez throughout the whole saga.

Understandably, City were unable to find a player who would admit that Tevez refused to warm up, those being on the bench that night unfortunately for Mancini are close friends with the disgraceful Tevez, yet the comments post game were clear – Tevez may point to them being lost in translation, yet it was blindingly obvious the striker had thrown a hissy fit to surpass that of even mad Mario when he learnt he was not the first substitution. City should have taken a harder stance on his actions, and backed their manager to the fullest extent.

What should be a brilliant week for City and the continuation of their most promising season ever, is now being overshadowed by the Tevez saga yet again, and now having effectively backed down over the whole affair, have set a dangerous precedent for players’ behaviour in the future and what they are clearly able to escape sanction for. With Tevez now looking to not only overturn this ruling but also to sue manager Mancini, now the whole of the Premier League, if not world football, needs to take note.

Imagine the consequences and reprisals if Tevez was to win this case, and Mancini was found guilty of what are effectively slanderous comments towards the player. How many players will then retrospectively attempt to sue managers for the same thing? How often will this happen in the future? Player power would reach new and unacceptable levels, not to mention the fact that post match interviews will be basically neutered, with managers too afraid to express any kind of opinion due to possible lawsuits following, what would be the floodgates opening, should Tevez win his lawsuit.

Clearly the above consequences are for football as a whole, but for City themselves, one can only imagine how this would affect their season and divide the squad, with Mancini having staunch support from certain players in the dressing room yet Tevez being close to a number of others. Should the saga roll on into next year, the effect on City could be disastrous, not to mention the fact that Mancini may feel as though he has been left exposed by City, and not supported to the level he feels that he should have been.

It is not just the consequences for City that would be dire should Tevez proceed and god forbid win this lawsuit, but for the implications on all of sport in general, with a dangerous precedent threatening to be established. From Carlos Tevez’ point of view, when considering who has really damaged his reputation and character, it seems best for him to stand in a full length mirror and take a long hard look into it – only then will he see the real culprit in this whole sorry affair.

 


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