Wait, what? Carlos Tevez’ community service switched to $4,000 fine after Juventus move

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Extenuating circumstances, a long commute, creative issues… call it what you will. But Carlos Tevez has got away with this one.

Tevez was caught driving whilst banned and without insurance  and was given another driving ban, along with a hefty 250 hours of community service on April 3.

In order to pay his penance to the UK, the punishment was to work for free in and around Manchester. But with only 28 hours of his community service completed Tevez joined Juventus from City this summer, and he now lives in Turin.

And it seems as if the British legal system looks kindly upon such dilemmas, because today it has been reported that Tevez will pay a $4,000 fine and the whole case will be over.

So for a striker that earned $370,000 a week while playing for Manchester City, is $4,000 really going to make much difference?

Not at all.

His lawyer Gwyn Lewis said: “Events overtook his control and he was sold to Juventus which meant his work permit was no longer valid and he was unable to stay and complete the court order. He did nothing to affect this change.”

Look, I’m not lambasting Tevez, we all make mistakes. But when it comes to EPL players earning a reputation as being ‘above and beyond’ the law, you can see why some of the public look on soccer players disapprovingly. Especially in the UK.

(MORE: Tevez still owes community service, despite Juventus move)

How hard would it have been for Tevez to fly back every other Sunday and put on a soccer clinic for young children in Manchester, to help inspire them to play the game? Even that is special treatment, as people in Carlitos’ situation would usually just get to pick up garbage from the side of roads and give their time back to the community that way.

Yet the privilege of playing professional soccer has struck again. There was a loophole in the law and Tevez and his lawyers have found it. Well done.

But after breaking laws time and time again and just being handed a miserly fine, surely it is time for professional soccer players, especially in the EPL, to be held more accountable for their actions?

Tevez, John Terry, Joey Barton, Nile Ranger… the list goes on and on. Those are players who have broken laws and have probably been punished more leniently than your average Joe in the street.

Is it right or wrong? You decide. But after recent reports of players from League One side Crewe being arrested on sexual assault charges, former Newcastle striker Ranger being charged of rape in court and so many other unsavory incidents, this surely has to stop.

Whether they like it or not EPL players and professional soccer players are role models. On and off the field. I think it is about time more players embraced it. Plenty of players do and many give back so much to the community and young children.

But players like Tevez aren’t helping anyone out. Except for themselves.

LAFC selects Urena, 4 others in MLS Expansion Draft

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Los Angeles FC selected five players in the MLS Expansion Draft, including Costa Rican national team star Marco Urena.

Whether they’ll make their way to the City of Angels is another story.

The first pick from general manager John Thorrington was goalkeeper Tyler Miller from Seattle Sounders.

[ MORE: Benitez on NUFC struggles ]

Going next was Latif Blessing from Sporting KC, an electric attacker who netted thrice with an assist last season.

Next was Urena from San Jose and the Costa Rican national team, a huge addition, and then Columbus left back Jukka Raitala before closing up the draft with Raheem Edwards from Toronto FC.

LAFC has already announced the signings or acquisitions of Carlos Vela, Walker Zimmerman, Carlos Alvarez, Monday Etim, and Guillermo Vizcarra.

The club will also loan Omar Gaber from Basel and Rodrigo Pacheco from Lanus.

WATCH LIVE: Three Premier League matches

AP Photo/Matt Dunham
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Chelsea visits the John Smith’s Stadium to face Huddersfield Town in one of three Premier League fixtures this chilly Tuesday in December (Watch live at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

The Blues are now 14 points back of Manchester City, and three points clear of fifth place.

Meanwhile there are a pair of matches on NBC Sports Gold: Burnley looks to keep pace with its Top Four ambitions when it hosts struggling Stoke City, while in-form Crystal Palace seeks a home win that would move it out of the drop zone. In its way? Dangerous, attack-minded Watford.

Burnley vs. Stoke City — 2:45 p.m. ET [ STREAM ]

Huddersfield Town vs. Chelsea — 3 p.m. ET [ STREAM ]

Crystal Palace vs. Watford — 3 p.m. ET [ STREAM ]

FIFA bans Colombia midfielder Cardona 5 games for gesture

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ZURICH (AP) FIFA has banned Colombia midfielder Edwin Cardona for five matches for making a discriminatory gesture with his eyes toward a South Korean opponent.

FIFA will allow Cardona to serve the ban in friendly games, so he should be available for Colombia’s World Cup opener against Japan on June 19.

[ MORE: Pep on post-derby celebrations ]

Cardona has also been fined 20,000 Swiss francs ($20,150) because of the incident last month in a friendly in Seoul.

Cardona apologized at the time, saying he “didn’t mean to disrespect anyone, a country or a race, but if anyone felt offended, or interpreted it in that way, I am sorry.”

Spurs’ Alderweireld won’t return until February

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Spurs finally got a bit of good news this weekend with a blowout of Stoke City.

That was a followed by a tough draw against Juventus in the UEFA Champions League, and bad news on an old injury.

[ MORE: Benitez on NUFC struggles ]

Center back Toby Alderweireld is going to be gone into February, extending his time on the sidelines with a hamstring injury suffered Nov. 1 against Real Madrid.

Spurs were 6-2-2 in league when Alderweireld went down, and are just 2-2-2 since the injury. The Belgian has missed losses at Arsenal and Leicester, draws against Watford and West Brom, and wins over Crystal Palace and Stoke.

Tottenham did win both of its UCL matches since the injury.