FIFA’s Handling of The Case of Alpha to Be Recognized

Nice have shared a new Football Association statement supporting their case to be allowed to register recent signing Hatem Ben Arfa.

Ben Arfa, 27, capped 13 times by France, is yet to feature for his new side due to article 5.3 of FIFA’s transfer regulations, which prevents players representing three clubs in the same season.

The Frenchman spent time on loan at Hull this season and also appeared for Newcastle’s under-21 team, a match FIFA indicated last week “must be considered as official” and “must be taken into consideration in determining the application of article 5.3.”


That is in opposition to the view of the English Football Association, and Nice have called for a quick resolution after receiving written confirmation from the FA that: “We do not consider U21 games to be official matches.”

And 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.”

Andre Soulier, president of the French league’s legal commission, asked the French Football Federation on Tuesday to obtain a “clear and firm” position from FIFA.