Carlos Tevez has been arrested for allegedly driving while disqualified. If charged and found guilty the the Manchester City striker, banned from driving for six months in January, faces the prospect of time in jail. Tevez was stopped by Cheshire Police on Thursday, allegedly while driving a Porsche Cayenne. The police are thought to have been acting on a tip-off.
He was released on bail as the police station he was taken to, Macclesfield, did not have a Spanish interpreter available. Tevez, who began playing in the Premier League in 2006, has limited English. The Argentine will return to Macclesfield police station on Tuesday, when he may be formally charged.
Tevez attended training today and was afterwards collected by his wife Vanessa in a Porsche. He is understood to be in contention to play in City's FA Cup sixth-round tie against Barnsley this afternoon.
Driving while disqualified carries a maximum penalty of a six-month custodial sentence and a £5,000 fine. The website drivingban.co.uk, which gives legal advice to motorists, states: "A prison sentence is a very real possibility, particularly if the court feels that by driving you have shown disrespect to the court that imposed the original suspension."
Tevez was banned and fined £1,540 by Manchester magistrates after he failed to respond to letters from both Cheshire and Lancashire police after being caught speeding in his Hummer on two occasions. He pleaded guilty but said he did not understand the letters because of his lack of English. He also admitted not having a proper UK driving licence.
Were Tevez to be charged and convicted but avoid a jail term – and it can be anticipated he will have a top-quality legal team working on his defence – he is likely to have his driving ban extended and be ordered to undertake community service. The courts have also been known to use anti-social behaviour orders in such cases.
Tevez previously received a fine and penalty points for speeding in 2011 and has twice had cars impounded for not producing a UK driving licence.
A spokeswoman for Cheshire Police said: "At 5.13pm police arrested a 29-year-old man from Alderley Edge on the A538 in Macclesfield. The man was arrested on suspicion of driving whilst disqualified and has since been released on police bail."
Manchester City said they considered the issue a police matter and were not prepared to comment.
Whatever happens it may be a while before Tevez drives again in England. His Argentine licence was only valid for the first 12 months of his stay in the UK. After that he is required to apply for a provisional licence and pass the UK driving theory and practical test, which would be problematic given his language difficulties.
This arrest follows the driving-related incident involving Courtney Meppen-Walter, an 18-year-old Manchester City youth team player, who was sentenced to 16 months in jail after killing two people while driving his Mercedes at 56mph in a 30mph limit in Manchester.
Trouble at the wheel: Players' scrapes
Tony Adams The Arsenal captain was handed a four-month prison sentence in 1990 for being caught four times over the legal drink-drive limit and hitting a lamppost.
Jan Molby Danish midfielder was jailed for three months for reckless driving while he was at Liverpool. His car flipped over outside a nightclub.
Kieron Dyer Banned for six months for speeding in 2010 and fined last year. Also crashed his Ferrari on the Swing Bridge in Newcastle in 2002.
David Bentley Banned from driving for a year in 2009 after crashing into a lamp-post while over the drink-drive limit.
Nicklas Bendtner Arsenal striker on loan at Juventus was this week fined £100,000 and banned from driving for three years after being caught driving the wrong way down a Copenhagen street while three times over the limit.