Carlos Tevez was last night suspended for two weeks and told to stay away from Manchester City pending an investigation into his conduct during the Champions League defeat at Bayern Munich, with his club not ruling out the prospect of ripping up his contract and sacking him.
City said the Argentine – who is suspended on full pay – will "not be considered for selection or take part in training" during the investigation into why he did not enter the field of play in the Allianz Arena.
Aware that Tevez's representative, Kia Joorabchian, will not flinch from a legal battle with them, City will undertake a rigorous investigation into what occurred during the second half against the German side, before making any move against Tevez. They will seek witnesses from all possible vantage points, with the then-unused substitutes – Pablo Zabaleta, Joleon Lescott, James Milner and Aleksandar Kolarov – and Mancini's assistant David Platt becoming key witnesses. Television footage and interviews will also be examined.
The view from inside the game – and from some legal specialists – is that Tevez is in breach of contract and that the club would be within their rights to rip up his contract for an act of gross misconduct. The vice president of Fifa, Jim Boyce, indicated last night that they would not be unsympathetic if City took such a course of action. "Fifa should have the power, as they do for drugs-related cases... to ban the player from taking an active part in football," he said.
A fine of two weeks' wages – the maximum punishment under Professional Footballers' Association rules – is likely to be the first punishment Tevez receives.
The balance of probabilities seems to be weighing heavily against Tevez's contract being torn up and dismissal. The more likely course of action is that Tevez will play no future role in Mancini's squads and will be sold at the highest price they can achieve in January.
Tevez's team-mates fell short of publicly questioning him as they left the stadium. "That's a decision each player makes – it was not to do with me, I was on the pitch playing," said compatriot Sergio Aguero. "He is a great player, but obviously I am not inside his mind, to know his thoughts and opinions."