Tevez to do community order after driving offenses
MACCLESFIELD, England (AP)
Carlos Tevez was ordered to carry out 250 hours of community service after admitting Wednesday to driving with his license suspended and without insurance, the latest episode in the striker's turbulent Manchester City career.
The Argentina international was also handed a fresh six-month driving ban and ordered to pay fines and costs totaling 1,145 pounds ($1,730) but escaped a six-month prison sentence - the maximum punishment for the driving while disqualified.
''Mr. Tevez, you must realize you are a role model to thousands, if not millions, of fans but nobody is above the law,'' magistrate Elizabeth Depares said.
Everton backup goalkeeper Jan Mucha was given an identical sanction for the same offense last month, while Manchester United forward Eric Cantona was also ordered to do community service following his infamous kung-fu kick on a Crystal Palace fan in 1995.
Community orders can involve clean-up projects in the local community, such as painting or graffifi removal, or attending regular appointments with a probation officer.
The 29-year-old Tevez, one of the Premier League's best and highest-paid players, was already seven weeks into a six-month driving ban - for failing to respond to police requests for information relating to speeding offenses - when he was stopped while driving a sports car near his home on March 7, following an anonymous tip-off. Tevez was driving home from a golf club and told officers: ''I only live down the road. Two minutes.''
''You should not have been driving,'' Depares said. ''We have heard that you are sorry and it is now up to you to ensure you will not be brought back to court again.''
Gwyn Lewis, the solicitor defending Tevez, said being arrested, questioned by police and appearing in court, had been a ''very frightening'' experience for the striker.
Tevez, who has played in England for the past seven years with West Ham, Manchester United and now City since 2009, still doesn't hold a British driving license because he hasn't passed a theory test in English. He listened to proceedings in court with the aid of an interpreter, who translated into his native Spanish.
''He was very clear when talking to me this has been a very salutary lesson,'' said probation officer Mike Boliver, who had a 15-minute conversation with Tevez while the case was briefly adjourned. ''I think (considering) the seriousness and significance of this type of offense, I think the likelihood of this happening again is very, very slim.''
Tevez threatened to leave City on two occasions last season and went on unauthorized leave to his native country after refusing to warm up as a substitute during a Champions League game against Bayern Munich.
However, he returned in time to play a key part in City winning the Premier League and has said in recent interviews that he is settled in England, now that his family is with him in Manchester.
He has scored 16 goals in all competitions this season, five since he was charged with the motoring offenses.