Ben Arfa, Lyon, set date for legal face off

AFP, Friday 17 Jun 2011

Newcastle's French star Hatem Ben Arfa faces a legal stand-off with former club Olympique Lyon after they failed Friday to reach an agreement on repayment of the balance of a fine handed down in 2007 for insulting a referee

Hatem Ben Arafa
Newcastle's French star Hatem Ben Arfa

Ben Arfa's lawyer said the midfielder and the club now faced an arbitration hearing for February 2012 as the respective parties try to resolve the wrangle which began when the player insulted a referee and earned a four-match suspension as a result.

The 24-year-old's club fined him a month's wages - 100,000 euros.

However, Ben Arfa, who joined Newcastle last year having left Lyon for Marseille in 2008, protested the severity of the decision. Though he recouped 48,000 euros, has been pressing the French league authorities for a larger sum to be handed back.

His lawyer is arguing that the fine should have been a maximum half a month's salary and he has also brought into question the issue of whether such fines are legal, suggesting they are not catered for under French labour laws.

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