Hatem Ben Arfa is not allowed to play for Nice this season since by FIFA’s interpretation of their own rules he has already played for Newcastle and Hull this season, even though his game for Newcastle was for our U21 side.
Hatem Ben Arfa – while at Newcastle
Nice appealed the FIFA decision but reports in France, mainly in Foot Mercato are saying their appeal has been turned down and therefore Ben Arfa cannot play for the club this season, and in fact he cannot play for any other side either.
What a mess that is for such a gifted player and the reports coming out France tonight are that Ben Arfa will announce tomorrow that he is leaving Nice.
The 27 year-old was allowed to leave Newcastle early in January on a free transfer even though he still had six months of his deal remaining at Newcastle.
FIFA had ruled that Ben Arfa couldn’t play for Nice because he had already played for Hull, in a loan spell – and he had played once for the Newcastle’s U-21 side, which was classed as an official fixture by FIFA.
And even though the English FA supported Nice and the player by saying they don’t consider U21 games as official fixtures, that did not sway the powers that be at FIFA.
We can well imagine how frustrated the former Newcastle player is – and he said this yesterday on the Nice web-site:
“I do not understand why they would try to stop me from playing in France, my home, and say I should be in England or somewhere else.” “‘Why always try to create problems when there are none?”
“I have only one desire – to play again on the pitches of Ligue 1, to have fun with my team-mates, and to give pleasure to the fans who have welcomed me as ever.”
It’s certainly a frustrating time for the French International, and we just cannot understand the decision made by FIFA – it hardly seems fair or logical – but hey – that’s FIFA for you.
And his announcement tomorrow could be even more dramatic as his his lawyer, Jean-Jacques Bertrand, had told Infosport tonight:
“He has in the head tonight to stop playing football.”
So Ben Arfa could even announce he is retiring from football altogether?
But that would be a mistake and a decision made when he is really frustrated – why wouldn’t he just wait and play for Nice next season?
Hatem Ben Arfa played 86 times for Newcastle with 14 goals – and two of those were the greatest individual goals ever seen in the 123 year history of St. James’ Park.
And he could announce his retirement tomorrow? 🙁
Ben Arfa would be very well advised to hold off on what he says tomorrow – and give himself some extra time to think things over.
Surely he can stay in football – even though we can understand how frustrated the lad must be feeling right now – it must look like the world is against him.
You can follow us on our three social media sites below: