Ben Arfa ineligible to play for Nice

Nice will take their case to tribunal after French football's authorities ruled Hatem Ben Arfa will be unable to play for them this season.

Hatem Ben Arfa will be unable to play for Nice this season, the Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP) finally ruled on Friday.

Ben Arfa agreed a deal at Allianz Riviera earlier this month after seeing a season-long loan at Hull City from Newcastle United cut short before his contract at St James' Park was cancelled six months early.

However, he has been unable to feature for his new side due to an appearance for Newcastle's development squad prior to his Hull move, with FIFA ruling players cannot play for three teams in a season.

Nice have insisted that the appearance for Newcastle should not count as it was in a non-competitive fixture – a claim backed up by the Football Association.

LFP, though, have denied midfielder Ben Arfa clearance to feature for the Ligue 1 in the current campaign.

"A decision has finally been given to us after almost a month of procrastination," Nice president Jean-Pierre Rivere said.

"The decision is not a surprise for us given how the French authorities have conducted this case file from the beginning, both in substance and in form. We will now go to court."