French international not "slave"

Toon target ready to go on strike for move?

August 15, 2010
By Soccernet staff

Newcastle target Hatem Ben Arfa claims he will not play again for current employers Marseille as he bids to force through a move. The France international has refused to train with OM, though he played 34 minutes of the opening Ligue 1 clash of the season against Caen and club president Jean-Claude Dassier insisted earlier this week he "remains part of the workforce".

Ben Arfa has other ideas, though, even if it means writing off his season.

"I will not return to La Commanderie (OM's training ground). It's over. I am ready to not play this season," he told L'Equipe. "I have my pride, my dignity. I am not a stop-gap. Over time, people will see that I was right. Just because we are paid does not mean we are slaves."

The 23-year-old put himself in the shop window on Wednesday as part of Laurent Blanc's shadow France squad, scoring a stunning long-range goal within three minutes of his introduction at half-time against Norway.