It is looking like Hatem Ben Arfa has been well and truly stitched up by his fellow countrymen over the Channel, if a certain case at Sunderland is taken into consideration.
At the moment the former Newcastle player appears to be stuck in no-man’s land, as the French authorities have ruled he has already played for two clubs and can’t play for a third as it is against FIFA rules to do so in the same season.
This morning brought rumours of a possible move to the MLS as a short-term fix because their season is out of sync and starts in March.
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However, the answer could be a lot closer to home…
Remie Streete has moved to Rangers on loan until the end of the season, one of five Newcastle players to do so, you might be interested in reading these comments we published earlier from Rangers fans….
Anyway, Remie Street has played Under 21 football this season for Newcastle and has also appeared for Port Vale on loan. However, the Scottish FA don’t count the NUFC Under 21 match as a ‘proper’ game and so Streete has so far only appeared for one club in their eyes.
Actually, you may recall in stuff we have published before, the big part of Nice’s case to the French authorities is that the English FA had written to them backing up their case, declaring that they didn’t count the NUFC Under 21 match as a proper game either.
Therefore we can assume that rather than having to go to America, Hatem Ben Arfa could in fact sign for any English, or indeed Scottish, club any day soon as he is a free agent.
The whole mess gets worse though, as it has now emerged that there is a case much closer to home that is even more baffling.
Down on Wearside, this was what Connor Wickham did last season (2013/14)….
Started the season with Sunderland and played in 5 Premier League matches.
He then went on loan to Sheffield Wednesday and played 11 Championship matches.
Wickham then returned to the mackems and played 1 match.
Then went out on loan AGAIN, but this time to Leeds, and played another 5 Championship games.
Before then returning to Sunderland and playing a further 9 Premier League matches and helping to keep them up.
A clear breach of FIFA rules surely by Sunderland.
Certainly the goals Connor Wickham scored in that final spell back on Wearside must surely be ruled out after Sunderland’s part in this rule breaking as accomplices.
His goals helped deliver wins over Cardiff and Chelsea, as well as a draw against Manchester City in that final run of appearances.
Seven points off the Sunderland total would see them relegated as they only survived by five points….
Sepp Blatter will get my vote for re-election if he does the decent thing!
(***Sadly daft FIFA rules appear to not count short-term loan players as having played for another club…work that one out! However, it does look as though we could very shortly be seeing Hatem Ben Arfa back playing somewhere, just not in France!)