Marseilles Announce Legal Action Against Nigel DeJong

News this afternoon that Ben Arfa’s club Marseilles, may sue Manchester City midfielder Nigel DeJong, over the tackle that resulted in a double leg fracture for the 23 year-old, who is on loan at Newcastle United.

Hatem Ben Arfa – in better times at Newcastle

The incident has been in all the papers in Europe over the last week, as viewers of the video see the flying and reckless tackle that resulted in a double fracture of  Ben Arfa’s lower left leg, and it was wasn’t even deemed a foul in England.

Jean-Claude Dassier, the outspoken Chairman of Marseilles, has said his club wants some compensation for the injury suffered by Ben Arfa.

This is what Dassier told Telefoot today:

“We will file a complaint against de Jong,” “It’s about getting rid of this type of individual from European grounds.”

“Ben Arfa asked our medical staff to help and we will do everything we can to help him obviously.”

It could be that both Newcastle and Marseilles will work together to ensure Ben Arfa gets the absolute best treatment during his recovery,  and he may be able to recuperate on both Tyneside and also in France.

The injury seems to have been a lightning rod to bring people together who want to stamp out the thuggery in football in general, and English football in particular, and we have to think that will be a very good thing.

Comments welcome.

63 comments so far

  • Toon XI

    Oct 10, 2010 at 4:01 PM

    Comment #1

    I hope OM stick it to De Jong. He deserves some type of punishment for his behavior in the past 9 months.

  • CT

    Oct 10, 2010 at 4:12 PM

    Comment #2

    Wot about the ref, sue the idiot too!! Sue the refs association/ Sweet FA/ Prem League/ police for allowing Thug for leave the ground safely/and anyb**g* else I`ve missed out! Thankyou.!!

  • Stardust

    Oct 10, 2010 at 5:08 PM

    Comment #3

    Anyone else read 1979Gooners article – re the FA failing to act and that they are misleading fans – it would be handy for the papers to pick this up and hit them with it. He states on – its a excellent piece of research – who’d have thought that they’d mislead us like that.

    “The FA’s own guidance contradicts the FA

    Given recent events and the violence in the game that the FA refuses to confront, I sent a list of questions to the FA. It was no surprise to me that the FA ignored all the hard questions and claimed that “The FA generally has no power to take retrospective action, due to FIFA directives. “. I found it strange that so many other countries (Belgium/Spain etc) were able to act on dangerous tackling retrospectively, even for incidents seen and punished by the match referee, while the FA was allegedly prevented from doing so by FIFA.

    The FA were no help, so I turned to the Football ombudsman who was far more useful, he took the time to discuss things with the FA and he attempted to explain their position; he admitted that there was nothing explicit from FIFA that prevented the FA from acting: ” it has been explained that there are not so much FIFA directives as FIFA interventions”. In fact he said that it came down to page 332 in the FA’s very own handbook:


    A charge of Misconduct (as defined in and) pursuant to Rule E3 of the Rules of The
    Association may be brought against a Player in relation to an incident, notwithstanding
    that the same incident has been dealt with pursuant to this Memorandum. For example,
    against a player who has been dismissed from the Field of Play for an incident which The
    Association is satisfied was sufficiently serious to warrant an additional sanction, having
    particular (but not exclusive) regard to the following:

    (a) Any applicable Law(s) of the Game or Rules and Regulations or FIFA instructions
    and/or guidelines;
    (b) The nature of the incident, and in particular any intent, recklessness, negligence
    or other state of mind of the Player;
    (c) Where applicable, the level of force used;
    (d) Any injury to any Participant caused by the incident;
    (e) Any other impact on the game in which the incident occurred;
    (f) The prevalence of the type of incident in question in football generally;
    (g) The wider interests of football in applying consistent sanctions.”

    I couldn’t help chuckling when I read this for the first time, it is quite clear from reading the above concerning rule E3 that the FA could easily act on this issue of dangerous tackling if they so wished. Their own guidance seems to encourage action on dangerous tackling.

    Take as an example De Jong breaking Ben Arfa’s leg. This was a tackle that broke the rules of the game (serious foul play- (a) on the FA’s list), it was reckless and negligent (b), it used an excessive level of force (c) and it caused a serious injury (d), there are also the wider issues which relate to this kind of reckless tackle (f)(g). It ticks almost all of the FA’s own boxes.

    The FA has been caught with its pants down around its ankles on this issue. Other countries have acted on dangerous tackling (eg Witsel in Belgium and Ujfalusi in Spain) and FIFA has had no problem at all with this. Some rather high powered officals in FIFA are now speaking out on the very same issue. The FA have been so limp and ineffective in confronting dangerous tackling that clubs are being forced into letters of protest, the situation is that bad. It is now clear to me that the FA’s hands are not tied, they could act but they simply chose not to for some strange reason only known to themselves.”

  • JH

    Oct 10, 2010 at 5:30 PM

    Comment #4

    I wonder what would happen if a club/players refused to play against Man City if de Jong is in the side – citing the FA rules, health and safe, human rights, what ever.

    de Jong has no place on a football field, and is a danger to all concerned he could make a living in the UFC where he would be more suited.

    Get rid of this idiot & thug – make an example of him, to stop him being a role model to our kids.

  • TAGeordie

    Oct 10, 2010 at 5:40 PM

    Comment #5

    I suggest that either NUFC or Toon fans take out a class action law suit against the FA, Man City and Da Junk, for the loss of HBA, for the amount it will cost to cover his injuries and to replace him in the short term. you can also slap on that lost revenue to nufc and mental anguish suffered by HBA and toon fans.

  • Thump

    Oct 10, 2010 at 6:06 PM

    Comment #6

    I hate to be the cynic here, but compensation for what? Hatem Ben Arfa is currently a Newcastle player for at least this season – OM are missing out on nothing here and shouldn’t be compensated in the slightest. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad to see SOMEBODY fight for HBA, but I can’t help but think OM are just looking for a payday.

    And don’t give me that “if you lent your mate something” cobblers – if you lend him or her something that you intend to sell, tough luck.

  • dave 1961

    Oct 10, 2010 at 6:16 PM

    Comment #7

    I have sent further complaints into greater Manchester police over the weekend, so in the morning I will phone them and ask them what they intend to do. but I will not let it drop, together we can make a difference we must keep this up.

  • Mags

    Oct 10, 2010 at 6:19 PM

    Comment #8

    I have to agree with Thump (6) in that I think OM are just out for anything they can get.

    Stardust- I saw this link to 1979Gooner article on Worky’s blog yesterday and commented.

    As I am currently in correspondence with the FA / Premier League over de jong and atkinson, I find the fact that the FA are lying is a disgrace. They CAN do something, for some reason they will not. I want to know why, I am the seeker of the truth. 😀

    I am waiting a response from the FA to my latest email sent on Friday but will then hit them with this new found infomation.

    I am determined not to let this drop without a fight. 😀

  • GeordieGerman

    Oct 10, 2010 at 6:23 PM

    Comment #9

    Thump, if I loan a mate a tenner because he and his wife and kids have nothing to eat and he loses it on the horses he still owes me a tenner and probably a belting from me as well.

  • jimiley

    Oct 10, 2010 at 6:28 PM

    Comment #10

    This whole thuggery thing is overstated. Arsenal are the most skilful team in the league who have suffered many times from bad fouls and nobody on this blogg was that bothered about it. I cannot recall anybody speaking up for a cleaner game. All of a sudden our most skilful player suffers a bad tackle ( it was not horrendous and the lad was unlucky. 19 times out of twenty he would walk away from it) and we want to take the physicality out of the game and have all the hard men banned. Remember Guthrie? We also have the likes of Smudger and Barton in our team. What goes around comes around.

  • Mags

    Oct 10, 2010 at 6:35 PM

    Comment #11

    Actually jimiley I have spoken up for Wenger in the past.

  • murvar

    Oct 10, 2010 at 6:40 PM

    Comment #12

    Well at least we can rule out an apology with all this talk of legal action!

  • GeordieGerman

    Oct 10, 2010 at 6:44 PM

    Comment #13

    Dead honest, when you think about technology, football is going backwards. In the 18 hundreds the players wore white gloves so the ref could look to see if handball had been used. Get a grip FIFA.

  • GeordieGerman

    Oct 10, 2010 at 6:45 PM

    Comment #14

    murvar, the basket didn’t even visit Ben Arfa in hospital… !

  • Stardust

    Oct 10, 2010 at 7:00 PM

    Comment #15


    You need to message the press – thats where the real power to change is. If they start and run that the FA has the power to do something but isnt – it will show them up for what they are.

    Public opinion is needed to make them act.

    Dave – I applaud you for your complaint to GMP. I will read with interest its developments.

    Remember – you do not have to be the Injured Party to make a complaint of crime. However you need to make sure that you state that De Jong is reckless – and has been shown to be reckless over a long period of time.

    That is the key to your complaint.

    Its a reckless Assault – in all likelihood – they will view it as a Section 20 Assault as the intent to cause GBH will not be proven BUT De Jong KNOWS because of his previous actions, experience and incidents that serious harm can occur in such reckless challenges.

    Stick to the word Reckless – and the fact he repeatedly does it – they (the police) will struggle to wriggle out of it.

  • Stardust

    Oct 10, 2010 at 7:02 PM

    Comment #16

    Also you need to make sure they review the various TV coverage as the real assault take place after winning the ball – where he uses his trailing leg to deliver force. Its not the ball win thats at stake here – its the reckless and forceful scissor tackle / assault.

  • Mags

    Oct 10, 2010 at 7:05 PM

    Comment #17

    Yes I think you are right Stardust, my loan battle is uphill and hard work, they keep stonewalling me.

    I am hoping some of the press hacks pick up on it, as it is well known they trawl the fanzine sites when they are short of a story.

    We owe a debt of thanks to the Dutch manager, who has triggered this response from our media, prior to that, they were very downbeat about the whole thing.

    Methinks a letter to our best friends the daily fail is in order. 😀

  • Howay The Lads

    Oct 10, 2010 at 7:09 PM

    Comment #18

    Sort of agree with jimiley to an extent.

    I think he definitely needs to be punished as I believe that he did it to put HBA ‘off his game’ or mildly injure him so he had to be subbed for that one game.

    I also think a crack down on injuries should be done, but not to the crazy extents some people are talking about.

    – Five game ban for ANY tackle where there was intent

    – One or two game international ban for any tackle intent to hurt (I realise this wouldn’t work for many lower league games, but it would definitely cut it out at EPL and CCC level).

    – Allow reviewing of tackles if either team calls for a decision to be reviewed.

    – Finally, an apology to the player and the club from any player convicted of intent to hurt

  • Mags

    Oct 10, 2010 at 7:12 PM

    Comment #19

    Howay the Lad – what you are missing is that this guy is a serial offender. When do you say enough is enough? Where do you draw the line?

  • roy cropper

    Oct 10, 2010 at 7:14 PM

    Comment #20

    dave 1961 – when you call them make sure you get a crime reference number & pass it on to these…..

    they might be able to get him a few quid for his troubles.

  • Howay The Lads

    Oct 10, 2010 at 7:29 PM

    Comment #21

    But, Mags, tell me, surely Barton should have had the same happen to him.

    People are viewing this in a completely subjective point of view.

    If that was Barton that made that tackle, although I wouldn’t defend him, I’d definitely think all this going on is ridiculous

  • JH

    Oct 10, 2010 at 7:40 PM

    Comment #22

    A rugby player just got blinded in one of his eyes, the Police are looking into this incident – why do they not do the same here. probably because in rugby they welcome the bad guys being kicked out.

    still is a tough game without the idiots.

  • dave 1961

    Oct 10, 2010 at 7:47 PM

    Comment #23

    to those that have not read my post’s I will reiterate for your benefit this was a tackle that was meant to injure the player I analysed this in great detail measuring the velocity of the tackle on a frame by frame basis in short his right leg was travelling at 4X the velocity of his left, in short he deliberately swung his leg in a pincer movement with the sole purpose of causing an injury. I have posted some pictures if you down load them and run them you get the picture you see the point at which Hatem’s leg breaks if it was a clumsy tackle I would not be as incensed about it, then the pictures of the high five’s the pat on the back of de jong, and I am sure that Milner says to Lescott its gone too far or something like that. I intend to try and extract the conversation they are having as it was close to one of the mikes, I am hoping to extract it. my bet is Mancini has instructed them to kick Hatem off the pitch. if I get it I intend to take it directly to Mike Ashley, even if I have to drive down to his house.

  • Mags

    Oct 10, 2010 at 7:53 PM

    Comment #24

    Howay the Lads I will stand corrected if I am wrong, but how many players’ legs has Barton broken on the field of play?

    His record off the pitch is not relevant in this discussion, whilst I can assure you I do not in any way condone it, in fact it is despicable.

  • chuck

    Oct 10, 2010 at 7:54 PM

    Comment #25

    Stardy, you certainly got that right!
    The present BA case only highlights a situation that has been around for some time, the fact that the FA just does`nt want to get involved.
    Why ? afraid of litigation and a record of constantly making the wrong decission.
    Which in turn allows EPL managers to encourage a system of physical intimidation.
    I dont have to mention names, we are all aware of both teams, managers and players who are renown for this type of play, if play can be used as an adjective in this case.
    The recent WC final is the typical example of what i`m suggesting, a team sent out pumped up to kick the bejasus outta the opposition, because they could`nt match up as a footballing side .
    With both De Jong and Van Bommel creating havock on the pitch.
    This is something if allowed to continue will result in major problems for clubs and especially the EPL, an example is the threatened law suit against Citeh by Marseilles.
    Besides most fans dont want to watch this type of football, a fast and somewhat physical game as played by many EPL sides , sure ! studs up, late sliding scissors like tackles, obvious kicks and elbows, they have no place in the game.
    And until the FA and other governing bodies inform both managers and players they are no different from the average citizen, and are subject to assault charges for acts of violence
    committed on the pitch, will there be any change.

  • dave 1961

    Oct 10, 2010 at 7:57 PM

    Comment #26
  • ronaldeano

    Oct 10, 2010 at 7:58 PM

    Comment #27


    There’s plenty of idiots in rugby m8,… Bloodgate springs to mind :0)

  • Howay The Lads

    Oct 10, 2010 at 8:01 PM

    Comment #28

    Mags, none I believe, but is this not one that could have:,r:3,s:0&tx=109&ty=53

    (Jesus, that’s a long address!)

    Was this not intended:,r:17,s:102&tx=52&ty=89&biw=1280&bih=589

    (What is with these?)

    De Jong did a challenge on Holden where he was late and reckless, but not intending to hurt him.

    Another on Alonso which again was reckless (incredibly so) but not intending to hurt him.

    The final one on HBA he clearly meant to ‘put him off his game’, but not break his leg

  • Thump

    Oct 10, 2010 at 8:04 PM

    Comment #29

    @GeordieGerman: That is a terrible analogy.

    1. NUFC would have likely gotten along fine without Ben Arfa albeit at the expense of two points (Everton) – we didn’t necessarily NEED him as your analogy states.
    2. Neither Newcastle or OM have ‘lost’ anything as your analogy also states (try and get a bookie to give you your tenner back on a loss; I dare you). We have an injured player who will heal and will hopefully be fine.
    2a. The option to buy is still there. OM may still yet get their money and if not I’m sure another EPL club would snatch their hand off for the lad.

    As I said – don’t give me that “if you loan your mate something” cobblers because the only justification for this (as far as I can see) is that OM get more money for Ben Arfas replacement.

  • Spuggy

    Oct 10, 2010 at 8:19 PM

    Comment #30

    Thug. I don’t care what anyone says about the HBA challenge, which to be fair I haven’t seen an honest camera angle yet, even though there’ll be another 5 angles.

  • GeordieGerman

    Oct 10, 2010 at 8:26 PM

    Comment #31

    Thump, is Ben Arfa still on our payroll? He’s back in France now and isn’t playing for us (at the moment). If he is back on Marseilles payroll then Marseille has every right to take legal action.

  • dave 1961

    Oct 10, 2010 at 8:26 PM

    Comment #32

    why would anyone find a problem with what Marseilles does if you loaned your friend a car and it was stolen or smashed up would you just say nothing , especially if you know who did it. i am happy if they take the clown de jong to the cleaners. that fact is it was a deliberate assault not a heavy challenge, he meant to do what he did, maybe not break his leg but to put him out of the game. if Hatem’s injury does not suffer any setbacks he will come back a stronger player for what he’s gone thru but the facts are we still do not know what the operation entailed, if they used pins and plates, some people reject these, I had bones wired and I had to have all the wires & pins removed as the bone would not heal with them in place, requiring three more operations before it finally healed. so until we hear to what extent they had to intervene we cannot breathe easy. and his registration is still owned by Marseilles and they are entitled to sue. we can expect to hear from mike Ashley’s legal team as I have heard he is also looking to act if the FA don’t.

  • Howay The Lads

    Oct 10, 2010 at 8:32 PM

    Comment #33

    Ed, why is my comment awaiting moderation?

  • Marty-Toon

    Oct 10, 2010 at 10:01 PM

    Comment #34

    Ed,you are still going on about his tackle.
    He didn`t go in with both feet high but we all agree he slid in very recklessly and hard and clobbered him with his knee.
    What about GUTHRIE when he kicked the Hull
    There weren`t too many callin for his heed on here and it was meant to injure.
    There have been many worse tackles this year already but the players have been lucky enough not to break a leg,unlike our Hatem

  • dave 1961

    Oct 10, 2010 at 10:54 PM

    Comment #35

    Guthrie was sent off and got banned and I can’t remember anyone having a problem with it we all thought he deserved it and a lot more


    Oct 11, 2010 at 12:44 AM

    Comment #36

    de jong went in on HBA on the basis to rattle him and put him off his game.. i refuse to believe that there was intent there… i’ve watched it over and over, and yes, de jong is a strong tackler and yes he needs to look at his way of playing but it wasnt malicious. hba was our new star player, we’ve seem his class, the way he runs at his opponents is what we love in players… unfortunately, in the same case as ronaldo at manu, a less gifted opponent will look at taking the man down to rattle and bruise him because he fears his opponent. in that sense, i have no doubt that mancini said to his team before the game… “we need to neutralize HBA”.

    yes its a terrible injury, but i really do not believe de jong went in with that intention. it was purely to put him off his game.

    yes, i believe de jong should be punished… but please, lets not lynch the guy

  • Sav

    Oct 11, 2010 at 1:21 AM

    Comment #37

    Firstly, Dassier, as we know, is full of BS. Only a few weeks ago he was having a load off about the player and NUFC.
    A court case, even if it were to get to that, would have fellow professional sportsmen testifying against one another. Even those who think De Jong ‘did’ Ben Arfa may not want to testify against a fellow pro. And none of them can enlighten anybody as to De Jong’s intent. Without malice being proven, its very much an occupational hazard – its a contact sport and accidents will occur.
    The FA have already a precedent for action in the Ben Thatcher case, but only acted after the police decided to investigate it as a possible case of assault.
    Lets face it, the referees are a gutless group. The FA and FIFA are gutless quangos.
    At least, after all this fuss, not to mention 2 broken legs and a world-famous chest-high tackle all withing 12 months, Nigel De Jong will not get the usual ridiculous ‘3 strikes and you’ll get a yellow’ which invites to early roughing-up of opponents.
    Nobody wants to see tackling removed from the game. But if the casualties of a hunting season for the likes of De Jong, Henry, Clattermole etc. runs to a number of creative targets, it is too high a price. I’d rather watch a tricky winger that a ruthless enforcer any day.

    Finally, what we really need is refereeing consistency to get rid of thuggery, holding at corners, diving etc. And stop the yellow card for shirt removal and such.

  • chuck

    Oct 11, 2010 at 2:12 AM

    Comment #38

    Erm, he went in to rattle him and put him off his game, by which I assume means he went in to hurt him and intimidate him, do I have that right ?
    And erm I assume the karate style foot that landed in Xabi`s chest, there was no malicious intent ?
    C`mon get real, de Jong is a thug and so is his Dutch partner Van Bommel and they have been getting away with this kind of violence on the pitch for a long time.
    It`s time the ruling bodies FIFA, EUAFA, and the FA, attempted to do the job they are elected to do and stamp out these physical assaults.
    For Ch***t sake if they happened on the street they would be subject to an assault charge, in which case why not if they occur on the pitch ?
    Sure you can claim that enforcers are nothing new and have been part of the game for generations and i would agree, so has racism and sectarianism, but does that legitimize any of them or make them acceptable in any way ?
    My argument can be boiled down to the recent World Cup final, where one team resorted to thuggery while the other attempted to play football, a poor game to watch and we will see more of this in our leagues unless those responsible put pressure on to stamp it out.
    However do`nt expect too much from these people they have their own agendas, mostly to do with making money.


    Oct 11, 2010 at 2:22 AM

    Comment #39

    chuck, yes, you’re right in everything you say, i never meant to take anything out of the brutality of the injury, and yes, there’s no place in modern football for it.

  • austoon

    Oct 11, 2010 at 4:35 AM

    Comment #40

    I know this is off topic but does anyone know who Nolan gave the captains armband to when he got subbed of last week vs City?


You must log in to post a comment.