News from France this afternoon that Hatem Ben Arfa will not be allowed to play for the rest of this season.

L’equipe have reported that FIFA have contacted both Nice and the French Football Federation to tell them that the Newcastle Under 21 match Hatem played in August against Reading, DOES count as a competitive match.

hatem ben arfaThis means that he has already played for two clubs taking into account his loan spell at Hull, to play for another would be in breach of the rule that forbids players from turning out for more than two clubs in the same season.

Whether there is any appeal process is unknown but even if there was, FIFA have made the decision and they are the governing body responsible, so going back to them again would surely only have the same response.

The French press have also reported that the player’s contract with Nice would be voided if his registration couldn’t be transferred this month.

After their conflict with the player, it is hard not to imagine both Alan Pardew and Mike Ashley having a chuckle on hearing this news today.

***We are rolling out a host of improvements to the website in early 2015 and the first of these is that we have moved over to Livefyre, our new commenting system.

Setting up a Livefyre account is easy, all you need to do to get started is click Sign In below, then click Create An Account. You then enter a unique Username (the name which will appear whenever you leave a comment), a Password and your Email Address and you are ready to go.

Alternatively you can sign in with your Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or Linkedn account.

Pull your friends into the conversation by clicking to share on Twitter and Facebook.

Don’t worry, we are in the process of transferring all previous comments into the new system and they will then show as well, so please be patient!