Hatem Ben Arfa’s career is in limbo

NO DECISION ... Ben Arfa.
NO DECISION ... Ben Arfa.

THE French Football League (LFP) is yet to decide whether or not former Newcastle playmaker Hatem Ben Arfa can sign for Nice.

The 27-year-old is keen to join the Ligue 1 club as a free agent after his Newcastle contract was cancelled earlier this month, but could be prevented by FIFA rules which state a player cannot play for more than two clubs in the same season.

Ben Arfa’s appearance for Newcastle’s Under-21 team on August 25, before moving on loan to Hull, was considered an official match by FIFA.

Nice are seeking to push the deal through before Friday’s meeting with Marseille and were hopeful the LFP would rule in their favour this week after receiving Ben Arfa’s international transfer certificate from the English Football Association via the French Football Federation.

A statement published on Nice’s official website read: “There is no decision today regarding approval for Hatem Ben Arfa’s contract.

“The France international, who remains in Nice training for the derby (against Marseille) with his team-mates, is in a state of limbo.

“The League would like the international federation (FIFA) to express an official position before it makes its decision. To that end, the LFP has asked the FFF to communicate with FIFA’s Player Status Committee.”

On Sunday Ben Arfa admitted his frustration over the stalled move on Nice’s website.

“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,” he said. “Why always try to create problems where 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.”