Manchester City have accepted Carlos Tevez's insistence that he did not refuse to come on as a substitute during a Champions League match against Bayern Munich.
Instead, Tevez attended a disciplinary hearing on Friday over a lesser charge of refusing to resume warming up, a person familiar with the situation said. He spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is continuing.
City manager Roberto Mancini had claimed Tevez refused to come off the bench during last month's 2-0 loss in Germany and insisted the Argentina striker would never play for the club again.
But the striker, who was suspended for two weeks during a City investigation, blamed a misunderstanding, deeming it unnecessary to warm up after claiming he had already done so.
Now City has accepted Tevez's insistence that he did not refuse to play by only charging him with not warming up again, the person said.
"I had warmed up and was ready to play," Tevez said last month. "I never refused to play."
Even though City did not present evidence at a hearing to support Mancini's claim, Tevez is still facing further punishment.
Tevez would be able to appeal any sanction to a board of City directors and if they are also found against him, a Premier League tribunal could hear a further challenge.
City acquired Tevez in 2009 for a reported 45 million pounds (then $74 million) on a five-year deal after his contract with crosstown rivals Manchester United expired.
The 27-year-old Tevez captained City last season and lifted the FA Cup in May, the club's first major trophy since 1976.
However, the Wembley success came after Tevez asked to leave the club in January and during the offseason he again publicly pushed for a transfer to be closer to his family in Argentina. But no club met City's reported 50 million-pound ($80 million) asking price.
Manchester City declined to comment.