Ben Arfa deal hits snag

The former Newcastle man could therefore be in limbo due to a clause in FIFA’s transfer regulations which states that a player cannot represent more than two clubs in the same campaign.

Ben Arfa joined Nice last Monday but had to sit out last weekend???s win over Lorient while he awaited international clearance.

The 27-year-old played eight times for Hull while on loan there earlier this season and FIFA has now ruled that an appearance for Newcastle???s U21 side will count as an official match.

He scored for the Magpies’ U21s in a 5-2 win over Reading back in August, but Nice had previously expressed their belief that ???sporting logic??? would prevail and that Ben Arfa would be allowed to represent them.

However, the club have now released a statement on their website which reads: ???OGC Nice have received a copy of a correspondence sent by FIFA to the FFF (French Football Federation).

???The international federation responded to the question posed by the French federation regarding a match played by Hatem Ben Arfa with Newcastle U21s.

“Contrary to the position of the English (Football Association), it appears that for FIFA the match in the U21 Professional Development League ‘must be considered as official in the sense of the regulation’ and ‘must therefore be taken into consideration in determining the application of article 5.3 of the regulation’ on the status and transfer of players.”

But Nice added that??the “decision rests with the French authorities (the FFF)” and not football’s governing body.

Article 5.3 of FIFA’s regulations on the status and transfer of players states: “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.”

And a FIFA spokesman had said earlier: ???Our services received an information request from the French Football Federation concerning the player Ben Arfa relating to art. 5 par. 3 of the regulations on the status and transfer of players.

“We can confirm that today we have responded to the FFF regarding their information request.”

Ben Arfa has been capped 13 times by France but Hull decided to terminate his season-long loan deal early and the player then had his Newcastle contract terminated by mutual consent.