A Manchester City investigation has failed to prove the claim of manager Roberto Mancini that Carlos Tevez refused to come on as a substitute against Bayern Munich.
Instead the Argentine striker attended a disciplinary hearing on Friday over a reduced charge of refusing to warm up.
The 27-year-old also faced a number of other charges and City are expected to make an announcement early next week.
Tevez, set to exit the club in January, will appeal against any punishment.
A senior City figure who was not part of the initial investigation chaired the hearing.
Tevez was able to request that club captain Vincent Kompany or a member of the Professional Footballers' Association be present.
He can now take his case to the City board - with that hearing likely to involve a representative of the club's Abu Dhabi-based owners.
If he is again unsuccessful, the Argentine would be able to appeal to the Premier League - and he could contest that ruling as well - meaning the dispute may not be settled until mid-December.
Both camps accept it would then be best if Tevez moved on during the January transfer window, although no talks have taken place with potential suitors.
Mancini said after the Champions League defeat in Germany that Tevez was "finished" at City.
The player denied refusing to play, blaming a "misunderstanding" and his adviser Kia Joorabchian insisted a post-match interview in which Tevez said "I didn't feel right to play so I didn't" was mistranslated.
Tevez was signed by then City manager Mark Hughes in the summer of 2009 and has since scored 53 goals in 91 appearances.
In May, he captained the club to FA Cup triumph, with a 1-0 victory over Stoke in the final at Wembley, City's first major trophy in 35 years.
However, he has also twice asked for a transfer away from Eastlands and looked set to get his wish before a proposed £40m move to Brazilian side Corinthians fell through.
He has made five appearances for City this season, but only two starts, and is yet to score.
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