Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Magpies urge FA to punish De Jong

Hatem Ben Arfa
De Jong's challenge on Ben Arfa went unpunished on Sunday

Newcastle have written to the Football Association asking for "the appropriate action" to be taken against Nigel de Jong for breaking Hatem Ben Arfa's leg.

The Magpies winger had to undergo surgery on a broken tibia and fibula after being caught by De Jong in Sunday's 2-1 defeat by Manchester City.

And Newcastle have asked the FA to look into the tackle, which went unpunished by match referee Martin Atkinson.

"It was unnecessary and used excessive force," read a club statement.

"Newcastle United have written a strongly worded letter to the FA 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.

"The club has asked the FA for the appropriate action to be taken against De Jong."

De Jong has already been dropped from the Netherlands squad for the forthcoming internationals against Moldova and Sweden, with national coach Bert van Marwijk saying he would speak to the midfielder about some of his challenges.

And Dutch legend Johan Cruyff urged the midfielder to clean up his game, saying: "He's crossed the line two or three times now.

"He needs to understand he is an example to all the young players and I think it [dropping him from the national squad] is a very good decision."

De Jong has also injured American midfielder Stuart Holden this year, while referee Howard Webb has said he would have sent off De Jong in the World Cup final had he realised the full extent of the foul on Spain's Xabi Alonso, when the Dutch midfielder caught the Spaniard in the chest.

However, De Jong's international team-mate Mark van Bommel has spoken out in defence of the midfielder, saying: "It's very unfortunate that he has broken the leg of an opponent twice in six months.

"Thanks to Nigel we reached the final of the World Cup. And now I hear people calling him a criminal. What a nonsense.

"Nigel should not change his game, we need him as he is. But maybe he should occasionally go into a tackle slightly differently."

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