Newcastle star forward Hatem Ben Arfa has today called for tougher punishments on dangerous tackles.
Ben Arfa – see – I can still do this stuff!
Ben Arfa returned to training at Newcastle for the first time since he sustained a double fracture of the left leg after a wild challenge from Manchester City’s De Jong, after only two minutes of the game at Eastlands on October 3rd, which Newcastle eventually lost 2-1.
Ben Arfa had been sent a texted apology from De Jong – who escaped without even a caution – but the Dutch manager dropped him from the upcoming European Championship qualifiers because of the wild tackle, so we’ were not the only ones who thought it was bad tackle.
The referee, Martin Atkinson, could see nothing wrong with the tackle, and if that’s true, then the laws of the game should be changed, it’s as simple as that, and that seems to be what Ben Arfa is saying today.
Ben Arfa told Canal Plus today:
“I do not really understand English. But in his text, he told me he did not intend to hurt me and he was sorry. I told him it was okay, it was football.”
“Anyway, the problem is that there was not even fault. I think he can get away with anything if there are no sanctions.”
“I do not want to come down on the referees, but we still have to protect players a little more so if he wants to tackle like this again he thinks twice.”
Ben Arfa doesn’t understand English too well, and neither probably does De Jong but it’s good to hear that the Dutch International did give Ben Arfa an apology.
The news in October was that he hadn’t even apologized, so at least that one is put to rest.
Ben Arfa then went on to praise the Newcastle United Club, for the way they have handled him through this very difficult time, for both the player and the club:
“The club gave me much respect, much love,” “I want to do a lot for this club because they gave me great confidence. For a human being, that’s huge. It touched me.”
And Ben Arfa has seen nothing yet, because if the lad does make an appearance for Newcastle this season, we’ll probably be able to hear the roar of the Geordie crowd over here in the US, such is their support for this lad, who made it clear last August he only wanted to sign for Newcastle.
And even Mike Ashley and Derek LLambias made personal visits to visit Ben Arfa during his rehabilitation in Clairfontaine, France, so that was good to hear, and plaudits to both of them for that.
And we know the French International has been given lots of notes of encouragement from Newcastle fans around the world, over a very tough six month period.
Ben Arfa – a top class player – and he only wanted to sign for Newcastle – a match made in heaven indeed.