Newcastle urge FA to take De Jong action
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The Magpies have released a statement confirming they have written a strongly-worded letter to the Football Association asking for "the appropriate action" to be taken against De Jong for leaving Ben Arfa with a double break of his left leg. The incident went unpunished, even as a foul, by referee Martin Atkinson.
"Newcastle United have today [Tuesday] written a strongly-worded letter to the Football Association in relation to the tackle by Manchester City's Nigel de Jong on Hatem Ben Arfa in Sunday's Premier League fixture, which resulted in Ben Arfa sustaining a broken tibia and fibula of his left leg," said a statement on Newcastle's official website.
"The club has asked the FA for the appropriate action to be taken against De Jong for the tackle which, in the club's opinion, was unnecessary and used excessive force."
Young Frenchman Ben Arfa now faces months on the sidelines after making a fine start to his Newcastle career and Toon boss Chris Hughton was unusually strident in his criticism of the Dutch midfielder, who has been gaining a notorious reputation in 2010. Previously, he achieved infamy for a March tackle on Bolton's Stuart Holden that left the American with a broken leg, and also for the chest-high kick on Xabi Alonso that caused worldwide disquiet when delivered in the World Cup final.
The latter incident saw match referee Howard Webb admit that he should have sent off De Jong but feared ruining the showpiece while Sunday's tackle on Ben Arfa has led to Netherlands coach Bert Van Marwijk dropping the City player from his squad ahead of a pair of Euro 2012 qualifiers. Van Marwijk explained the exclusion by saying that De Jong had clearly not responded to repeated warnings about the forcefulness of his tackling.