February 2, 2015 / 8:27 PM / 3 years ago

Soccer-Ben Arfa to leave Nice - lawyer

PARIS, Feb 2 (Reuters) - Hatem Ben Arfa will quit Nice after the French League barred him from playing competitive games with the Ligue 1 club this season, the former France forward's lawyer said on Monday.

"His stay in Nice will end tomorrow," Jean-Jacques Bertrand told Infosport Plus TV.

"It is out of the question that Hatem will finish his season at Nice."

Bertrand even suggested Ben Arfa could end his career.

"In the back of his mind there is the possibility to quit football," he said.

Last week, the LFP said Ben Arfa would not be able to play official matches for Nice after ruling that he had appeared in competitive games for Hull City and Newcastle United this season.

FIFA regulations state that "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."

French authorities had asked FIFA to look into Ben Arfa's situation due to doubts about whether his appearance in a match for Newcastle United's development side was regarded as a competitive fixture.

The LFP said that FIFA explained that the Under-21 Professional Development League games had to be considered as official.

The 27-year-old forward, who has scored two goals in 13 games for France and won his last cap in 2012, is out of action after his contract with Newcastle was terminated to allow him to join Nice on an 18-month deal as a free agent.

Ben Arfa was loaned by Newcastle to Hull City until December and played in eight Premier League games this season. (Reporting by Julien Pretot, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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