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Page last updated at 21:39 GMT, Sunday, 10 October 2010 22:39 UK

Marseille could take legal action against Nigel de Jong

Hatem Ben Arfa
De Jong's challenge on Ben Arfa went unpunished at Eastlands

Marseille have said they could take legal action against Manchester City's Nigel de Jong after his tackle broke the leg of Newcastle's Hatem Ben Arfa.

Ben Arfa, who is on a season-long loan from Marseille, is set for a long spell on the sidelines after suffering a double fracture last Sunday.

The French club's president Jean-Claude Dassier told TF1's Telefoot programme: "We will file a claim against De Jong.

"It's about getting rid of this type of individual from European grounds."

Even though De Jong was not booked for the incident in the 2-1 victory for Manchester City at Eastlands on 3 October, he was dropped from the Netherlands squad for their Euro 2012 qualifiers against Moldova last Friday and Sweden on Tuesday after coach Bert van Marwijk said it was "a wild and unnecessary offence".

Newcastle subsequently wrote to the Football Association asking it to take action against the 25-year-old Dutch midfielder for the tackle which it deemed to be "unnecessary and using excessive force."

The FA said it would consider the letter but may be powerless to implement any punishment.


De Jong's challenge has been highlighted after a string of other incidents sparked debate on the extent of tackling in the Premier League.

Wolves captain Karl Henry was dismissed on the same weekend for what he called an "horrific" challenge on Wigan's Jordi Gomez.

Henry was also involved in a challenge with Fulham's Bobby Zamora which led to the England striker breaking his leg in September, although the injury was deemed an accident.

In addition Zamora's team-mate Moussa Dembele suffered a long-term injury the same month when he was tackled by Stoke's Andy Wilkinson in the League Cup.

The spate of rash challenges led Fulham captain Danny Murphy to urge managers to take responsibility for their players' actions.

And Professional Footballers' Association chief Gordon Taylor also said he wanted to remind players they have a "duty of care" to their fellow players on the field.

Ben Arfa, 23, was playing in only his fourth game for Newcastle when he suffered the injury and the Magpies said they were putting no timescale on when the French midfielder would return.

Dassier also promised to offer support to the winger in his recovery, stating: "Ben Arfa asked our medical staff to help and we will do everything we can to help him, obviously."

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see also
'Bosses to blame' for bad tackles
08 Oct 10 |  Fulham
Brutality threatens game - Fifa
07 Oct 10 |  Football
Taylor issues bad tackle warning
05 Oct 10 |  Football
FA to look into Newcastle request
06 Oct 10 |  Newcastle
Ben Arfa has surgery on leg break
04 Oct 10 |  Newcastle
De Jong dropped from Dutch squad
04 Oct 10 |  Football

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