Enrique: De Jong tackle was 'criminal'

Newcastle left-back Jose Enrique believes Manchester City midfielder Nigel de Jong should be banned from football until Hatem Ben Arfa is back playing again.

The Dutchman's tackle left Ben Arfa with a broken leg in two places, which is likely to keep him out until March at the earliest.

The challenge, which came just three minutes into City's 2-1 victory over Newcastle, was described by Magpies boss Chris Hughton as 'unnecessary'.

And Ben Arfa's Newcastle team-mate Enrique thinks De Jong’s punishment should match the crime.

“They should ban De Jong until Ben Arfa can play again,” Enrique told reporters after the game.

“He shouldn’t be allowed to play football. His tackle was criminal. He already injured another player (Stuart Holden) last season.”

The incident was reminiscent of scenes from the World Cup final, when De Jong escaped a red card from Howard Webb following his chest-high foul on Alonso during Holland's 1-0 defeat in South Africa.

“De Jong is one of those players who walks a tightrope every time he plays,” Enrique continued. “As far as I know, he didn’t even come to say sorry after the match.”

Frenchman Ben Arfa, on a season-long loan from Marseille, has insisted he will come back strongly.

He said: “I’ll be back. I will be working hard to play again in black-and-white shirt and to perform again for the brilliant Newcastle fans. It will be a long road, but I have to stay positive.”

The FA are unlikely to punish De Jong as the referee saw the tackle but chose not to award a foul.

He has though been punished by his country, with Holland manager Bert van Marwijk dropping him for their upcoming qualifiers against Sweden and Moldova.

By Luke Nicholls