London: Manchester City reduced its fine of four weeks' wages handed out to Carlos Tevez to just two weeks' pay on Thursday after England's footballers' union backed the player in his dispute with the Premier League club.
City planned to fine Tevez four weeks' salary, which equates to around 800,000 pounds ($1.3 million), after finding him guilty of misconduct over a touchline dispute during a 2-0 loss at Bayern Munich last month.
However, under English football rules, fines that are greater than two weeks' wages need to be ratified by the players' union, the Professional Footballers Association. City's request for a fine of four weeks' wages was refused by PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor, who backed the Argentina international and attended his disciplinary hearing.
Unable to apply the larger fine, City said on Thursday it would halve the punishment.
But it also criticized the PFA for what the club saw as a conflict of interest - with Taylor supporting Tevez at his hearing and then having the authority to decide whether or not to ratify the larger fine.
"Manchester City is disappointed by the apparent PFA conflict of interest evident in this process," it said in a statement. "Carlos Tevez has been personally represented throughout by the PFA Chief Executive, on whose considerations the Club has been informed that the PFA has made its decision (to not support a four-week fine)."
City ended its statement by saying: "Without recourse to the PFA decision available, the maximum two-week fine provided for in standard player contracts will now be applied in relation to the misconduct of Carlos Tevez."
The PFA had disputed the charge leveled by City that the striker had refused to play.
"The charge was momentarily refusing to resume warming up - he never refused to play, he was desperate to play," Taylor said earlier on Thursday. "They are trying to portray he refused to play, which is serious and why he was vilified. No evidence that they presented suggested that.
"If the evidence was strong and irrefutable, that's gross misconduct, as serious as it gets and could be a termination of contract. That's not the case."
Tevez was suspended for two weeks by City after the row in Germany, but despite manager Roberto Mancini initially declaring that the Argentina international would never play for the club again, he received no further ban from the club's disciplinary panel.
The 2009 recruit from Manchester United was City's top scorer during its run to the FA Cup title last year that ended a 35-year trophy drought.
But has been largely out of favour since a failed attempt to secure a transfer in the offseason back to Brazilian club Corinthians, which he left in 2006 to join West Ham.
City maintains that Tevez will only be sold in the January transfer window if a club meets its asking price of around 40 million pounds for a player with almost three years remaining on his contract.