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Newcastle’s Ben Arfa facing France exile under Deschamps

HEARING ... Hatem Ben Arfa, left, faces sanctions from France's football federation.

HEARING ... Hatem Ben Arfa, left, faces sanctions from France's football federation.

HATEM Ben Arfa is facing a spell in the international wilderness after Didier Deschamps was appointed France coach.

Deschamps has succeeded Laurent Blanc in the post after the country’s disappointing Euro 2012 campaign.

And the appointment doesn’t bode well for Newcastle United forward Ben Arfa, who faces disciplinary action from France’s football federation after clashing with Blanc during the tournament.

A deterioration in Ben Arfa’s relationship with Deschamps during his time at Olympique Marseille led to his move to St James’s Park.

Ben Arfa went on strike to force a move to Newcastle two years ago, launching an outspoken attack on Deschamps and the club in which he accused them of treating him like a “sack of dirty washing”.

“When (Deschamps) talks to me, I have the feeling that something else is going on inside his head,” Ben Arfa was quoted as saying at the time.

“The coach can say what he wants – it’s over.”

And Deschamps seems certain to exact his revenge after taking over Les Bleus, notwithstanding any fine or suspension handed to the 25-year-old by the FFF, who have also opened disciplinary proceedings against Samir Nasri, Yann M’Vila and Jeremy Menez.

Ben Arfa had worked hard to force his way back into the international fold last season.

In the latter months of the campaign, Ben Arfa’s form for United caught the eye of Blanc, who had previously overlooked him.

However, Ben Arfa made just one start – against Sweden – and he was reportedly involved in a dressing room altercation after the game, France’s final group fixture.

Meanwhile, Deschamps will be unveiled today by the FFF.

Deschamps – who captained France to their 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000 triumphs – was quickly installed as favourite to succeed Blanc after he left his post at Marseille by mutual consent last week. The 43-year-old guided OM to one Ligue 1 title and a record three successive League Cups in as many years at the Stade Velodrome.

Deschamps – who has also previously managed Juventus and Monaco – endured a difficult campaign last season, however, as Marseille managed only 10th place.

As a player, Deschamps represented Nantes, Marseille, Juve, Chelsea and Valencia before hanging up his boots in 2001.

He also won 103 caps for France, 52 of which were as captain.

During his playing career he won a host of titles, including five league crowns in France and Italy, two Champions Leagues and two domestic cups.

Deschamps’s first game in charge is set to be against South American champions Uruguay in Le Havre on August 15.

And Ben Arfa’s Newcastle team-mate Yohan Cabaye – who impressed at Euro 2012 – is certain to be called up by Deschamps.

Cabaye has quickly become an influential figure for his country since breaking into the senior team.

The midfielder joined United from French club Lille a year ago.

Twitter: @milesstarforth

 

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