de jong debate

Marseille to take legal action over De Jong tackle

October 10, 2010
By ESPNsoccernet staff

French club Marseille have revealed that they are to take legal action against Manchester City midfielder Nigel de Jong after he broke the leg of their on-loan midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa.

Hatem Ben Arfa is carried off with oxygen after suffering a broken leg at Man City
GettyImages / MichaelReganHatem Ben Arfa was carried off with oxygen after suffering a broken leg at Man City

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De Jong has been roundly criticised in the media for his tackle on Ben Arfa against Newcastle last Sunday, which broke the Frenchman's tibia and fibula and, although the incident went unpunished by the referee or the Premier League, Marseille are keen to make the midfielder pay for his actions.

''We will file a claim against De Jong. It's about getting rid of this type of individual from European grounds,'' Marseille president Jean-Claude Dassier told French television programme Telefoot.

Dassier also promised to offer support Ben Arfa in his recovery after he underwent successful surgery last week, saying: ''Ben Arfa asked our medical staff to help and we will do everything we can to help him, obviously.''

De Jong was dropped from the Netherlands squad as punishment for the tackle by coach Bert van Marwijk, but Ben Arfa's agent claims that he has yet to offer an apology to the player.

"De Jong hasn't been in touch at all," said Simon Stanford. "Brian Marwood, who is a top-class professional person, sent a note from Manchester City saying everyone wished him a speedy recovery and sent a gift, but that's it.

"A visit from De Jong wasn't put to him. Brian wanted to visit but Hatem was on morphine at the time. The facts of the matter are he hasn't been in touch and he hasn't apologised. Brian Marwood has been in touch, but not De Jong."