Thursday 23 November 2017

Manchester City seeks to leave controversies in the past

Phil Medlicott

MANCHESTER City are looking to move on from their recent off-field controversies and focus firmly on the chase for silverware this season after Carlos Tevez and Kolo Toure yesterday both opted not to challenge disciplinary action taken against them by the club.

Tevez had been expected to contest City's ruling that he was guilty of misconduct in the Champions League defeat to Bayern Munich on September 27, but the deadline for lodging an appeal passed on Tuesday with the striker understood to have chosen not to do so.

Meanwhile, the club announced that Toure has accepted a fine of six weeks' wages relating to his failed drug test earlier this year, adding that they "now wish to draw a line under this matter and focus on the season ahead."

The Blues are currently five points clear at the top of the Barclays Premier League after 11 games, and well in contention to qualify for the knockout rounds of what is their maiden Champions League campaign.

City have had little problem in terms of results of late, but it has certainly not been a trouble-free period.

The club last month fined Tevez four weeks' wages, later reduced to two weeks' following intervention by the Professional Footballers' Association, after a disciplinary panel found the player guilty of five breaches of contract relating to his behaviour on the bench during the match in Munich.

He was also suspended for two weeks - although that was deemed to have already been served - and given a written warning as to his future conduct.

The 27-year-old was accused by manager Roberto Mancini of refusing to come on as a substitute during the second half of the 2-0 loss at the Allianz Arena, but Tevez denied the allegation and blamed a misunderstanding, insisting he had merely refused to warm up - something he felt unnecessary as he had already done so.

He was suspended for two weeks then trained alone while the matter was investigated, and on October 25 City announced they were upholding a charge of misconduct against him based on the panel's findings.

Tevez was given 14 days to appeal, but it now seems the Argentina international has accepted his punishment.

His future with City remains unclear, although Mancini has suggested the forward - who was the club's top scorer and skipper last term as they won the FA Cup, but has fallen out of favour since his failed attempt to secure a transfer over the summer - could yet return to the team if he apologises.

Ivory Coast defender Toure was handed a six-month ban by the Football Association in May, backdated to March 2, after he tested positive for a prohibited substance.

The 30-year-old, who claimed the positive test came as a result of taking his wife's diet pills, made his playing comeback from the suspension in September but last week had an internal disciplinary hearing at City, leading to the club's announcement about his fine yesterday.

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