The English FA have within the last 24 hours clarified their view on Ben Arfa’s potential transfer to OGC Nice from Newcastle, which had been blocked by FIFA as a result of the Frenchman having allegedly played an official match for both Newcastle and Hull City, meaning OGC Nice would be the third club he would play for this season, which is against FIFA regulations.
The FA have held the stance that the U21 match Ben Arfa played in for Newcastle cannot be considered to be an official appearance. They have now further clarified their stance with a second letter to OGC Nice. A Nice statement on Thursday read:
‘As some people are obviously having trouble interpreting the English federation’s first letter sent at the start of January, OGC Nice appreciate that the FA has written another letter on Wednesday to dispel any ambiguity.’
‘It is perfectly explicit. Crucially, you can read therein the following phrase: ‘We do not consider U21 games to be official matches’. This confirmation leaves no doubt as to its interpretation, especially as the English federation has taken care to reinforce this position in its letter.’
‘We hope that with this clarification, the relevant bodies can now announce their decision without hesitation.”