Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Kia Joorabchian on Carlos Tevez in Munich: the complete interview transcript

Controversy erupts on Manchester City's bench in Munich
Today at the Leaders In Football summit, held at Chelsea FC's Stamford Bridge, a hastily arranged Q&A with Carlos Tevez's representative Kia Joorabchian was organised. Asking the questions was former executive director of the FA David Davies. 

Below is the full transcript of their conversation about the incidents in Munich last week, when Carlos Tevez is alleged to have refused to come off the bench for Manchester City in a Champions League game.

I do not offer any comment or opinion on the contents of their discussion, and instead leave you to make up your own mind. The press will of course select some choice quotes for their stories in tomorrow’s papers. But for completeness, here’s everything Joorabchian said on Tevez before the discussion moved to more global football matters.

DD: Did Carlos Tevez refuse to play for Manchester City at any stage?
: Well there’s an internal investigation going on, so whatever I say here is my opinion and not Carlos’s. I haven’t spoken to him about it. What the investigators think and what Carlos thinks is their issue. I’ve tried to keep at arm’s length from it. I am party to some extra information that I hopefully will not divulge today! The main thing is that what happened was an issue of a lot of confusion. While I don’t believe that it’s correct for any player to behave in a manner that is contrary to that of his club, events have been judged prior to the real outcome coming out. We didn’t actually see what really happened. We only saw the TV footage, which shows it in a different light.

What’s your interpretation of what happened then?
My interpretation of the footage is that there is a lot of arguing going on down on the bench when Edin Dzeko comes off. They showed Carlos warm up during the first half with two other players. In the second half when they showed the bench, we didn’t see Carlos and they then showed that he and Nigel De Jong were warming up. He was warming up even as De Jong comes on. We then see him walk back to the bench, and as he’s walking back to the bench there’s a god-awful row between Roberto Mancini and Dzeko. We see this row carrying on and Carlos then sits down. We see this row continuing, we see the physical trainer is talking to Carlos, and Carlos then stands up to go towards somewhere. There is some more shouting and he sits right back down. So, that’s what we see from the video footage. And from then on we are going by what Mancini says.

Do you believe he refused to play?
I know Carlos in totally different light to most people in this room and around the world, since he was an 18-year-old boy. You can criticise him for anything, but one thing you can’t criticise him for is his commitment on the pitch, or for not wanting to play. There have been several times at Manchester City and throughout his career where he’s taken injections, played with swollen ankles or in situations when doctors have told him not to play. There was a situation at Corinthians where the medical department came to me before the Libertadores semi-final with River Plate and said “Carlos cannot play, he is not fit”. I then hear that there is a massive row going on and people were saying “You need to get down to the dressing room ASAP”. I go down and the coach says: “You’ve got to help me out. Carlos wants to kill the doctor.” He then played the full 90 minutes.

So you’re saying that this is a misunderstanding and he didn’t refuse to play?
This is my opinion that he didn’t refuse to play. Throughout his career he has been one who fights to play. He joined City when he had offers from Real Madrid and Manchester United. United gave him an offer, as did Madrid and City. He was one of the first players to join City’s new vision. It is a great vision. I have the honour of knowing Sheikh Mansour and sometimes that vision is not portrayed properly. Carlos was brought in to help and start that vision. So he feels very differently towards the club. He had a very intense feeling at end of his first season when they missed out on qualifying for the Champions League. He took that very personally. In the second season his performances on the pitch were outstanding.

There are a lot of issues around this. Carlos does speak English, but his English is not good enough to host a full-blown interview.

But did he say, as he was interpreted as saying, “I did not feel right to play, so I did not play”?
One of the biggest problems right after a game when questions are asked is that things get put out of context and if you don’t have a very professional interpreter then you have a problem. I speak both languages and I listened to the questions in English and the interpretation in Spanish. The interpretation was incorrect. Both questions and both of Carlos’s answers were misinterpreted. Geoff Shreeves says “What is the truth?”. Carlos says something like “the truth is, at this point in time, how am I going to be in a mental state to play?”. The interpreter then says something very different. The second question is Shreeves

Are you saying that whatever the outcome of the enquiry, he would want to stay at Manchester City?
Again, there is an investigation going on, and I don’t really want to speak about what Carlos does and doesn’t want to do.

Do you think he knows what he wants to do?
I think he feels that he has been judged before the case has been looked into. Manchester City are in a very difficult position, and Carlos is in a very difficult position. 

Wouldn’t it have been better to say “I’m sorry if this was the impression I gave to the manager”?
Just to clarify, I was not aware of the statement before he released it. But he did release a statement and it clearly said that it was a misunderstanding and he did apologise. If you look at the bench, it seems there was a misunderstanding with Zabaleta – and I’m not saying there was or wasn’t – but we should wait until the investigation has run its course and analyse its findings. And at that point both Carlos and Man City need to sit down and have a conversation.

Could the manager and player be reconciled again?
This is something for the two of them to work out. It’s a personal relationship between two people. You’ve seen this happen all through the summer with Fabregas, Nasri, Modric, the list goes on – those are just the high-profile names from throughout the summer. People handing in transfer requests, refusing to travel, refused to play – I think this is a problem in general. 

Are you actually saying [those players] refused to play?
Well, I can say that my opinion is that they refused to play, but that they refused to play in a different way. Those situations were handled in a different way; their managers and clubs handled them very differently.

So Roberto Mancini should’ve handled it a different way?
Roberto has his style of management, it’s very direct and totally different to Alex Ferguson, Arsene Wenger or Carlo Ancelotti. Fabregas had a big problem throughout the summer, Modric put in a transfer request and I think he didn’t play in Spurs’ first European game and it was reported that he didn’t want to play. Whether that’s true or not, we don’t know. Every manager and every club handles situations differently. Carlos’s situation has been handled in a different manner. Carlos and Roberto now have to deal with the manner in which it has been handled.

So is Carlos Tevez, as some people have suggested, easily lead? Or is he quite tough?
I think any person in the world that knows Carlos knows that he has a very strong opinion on everything. One thing he’s always said and reiterated all the time is that he resents the fact that people think he can be [easily lead]. He’s come up from the bottom and has reached the top of his game. He hasn’t done that by not being a very strong character. He’s a very, very strong independent character and if you speak to any of his teammates and managers – either current or past – they will tell you he’s a very different character to this.


Anonymous said...

"I haven’t spoken to him about it. " wtf is the point of this Q&A if Joorabchian is only offering an opinion based on watching TV.

Narrow The Angle said...

Can't argue. Wish Davies had pressed him on that. For instance: "Why wouldn't you speak to your client after such a dramatic incident? Surely that's the first thing you'd do?"

Anonymous said...

Who wrote Tevez's statement, released the day after Munich, if it wasn't kia?

Anonymous said...

Sky have turned against Kia now - their new independent translation exposes his lies about the content and context of Tevez's remarks. It's simple, the manager told him to go on and he didn't appear - case closed.

Post a Comment