Paris Saint-Germain have another headache on their hands after the French Professional Football League (LFP) confirmed it will look into a complaint by Hatem Ben Arfa that he is being “discriminated” against and suffering “workplace harassment” after being frozen out of the first team at the Parc des Princes and forced to train with the reserves.
Ben Arfa’s lawyer, Jean-Jacques Bertrand, presented a complaint to the LFP last week after PSG coach Unai Emery again excluded the France international from first team training without explanation. On Tuesday, the lawyer took his client’s case to the LFP’s Committee on Legal Affairs, which is going to ask PSG to present a written explanation for Ben Arfa’s demotion within two weeks. If the club fails to do so, a fine could be imposed.
Ben Arfa in limbo
Ben Arfa’s patience snapped last week when he was excluded from first team preparations for the Champions League match against Bayern Munich and later, on Thursday, when he returned to the fold he was again ordered to train with the reserves.
Bertrand said in September that the treatment of his client contravened the Professiohal Football Charter, which allows teams to relegate a professional player to a second training group as long as it is only "temporary [and] exclusively for sporting reasons relating to the management of the squad.”
Emery made it clear during the summer that he wanted Ben Arfa to leave the club but the forward elected to remain at the Parc des Princes.
"The methods being used are psychological"
“We have sent a lawsuit for discrimination against the player in his professional workplace to the committee and they are going to ask PSG to respond to it,” Bertrand told Le Parisien. “The methods being used for this objective are psychological. On Tuesday they asked [Ben Arfa] to train with the reserves so that he would not cause a distraction from the preparations for the Bayern game. Hatem understood the decision. On the Thursday he returned to the first team and was once again sent to the reserves without any explanation. What was a temporary measure has been disguised as a permanent situation.”