Hatem Ben Arfa signed for OGC Nice a week ago today from Newcastle, but the French Football Federation have not yet sanctioned the move. According to Fifa laws:
‘Players may be registered with a maximum of three clubs during one season. During this period, the player is only eligible to play official matches for two clubs.’
At the beginning of this season, Ben Arfa was set off on a season long loan to Hull City FC before unexpectedly leaving England which caused speculation that his Hull career was over. The added complication is that before going on loan, he played for the Newcastle Under-21 side, meaning that he has played for two clubs already this season. Nice will argue that playing for an Under-21 side does not qualify as an ‘official match’ so he has only played for one club so far. Nice claim that they have written confirmation from the Football Association that this does not qualify as an official match and the club have passed on the statement to FIFA.
The French winger was prevented from making his debut as a Nice player against Lorient on Saturday but Nice are hopeful that the move will be sanctioned imminently, before they meet Bordeaux on Friday.