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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jul 1, 2008

French League ratify Ben Arfa's Marseille deal

Marseille president Pape Diouf declared 'good sense and intelligence' had prevailed after the LFP ratified Hatem Ben Arfa's transfer from Lyon on Tuesday evening.

The two clubs finally reached an agreement over the on-off transfer of the 21-year-old left-winger for an undisclosed fee following a meeting in Paris with the French football league.

'Good sense and intelligence won the day today, bringing everyone to the right decision,' Diouf said.

'The situation was difficult. It is always that way when two big clubs are fighting. Even if you can say that at the end of the day it was much ado about nothing.'

French champions Lyon announced late on Saturday night that the transfer had collapsed as OM were unable to provide the financial guarantees required for the move to be completed.

Marseille, who confirmed last Wednesday that the two clubs had agreed a fee for the France international, were quick to defend their role in the deal, with Diouf insisting: 'The boy is with us, full stop.'

The LFP issued a statement on Tuesday evening confirming the teams had reached agreement over the player's transfer.

It read: 'The clubs of Lyon and Marseille, represented by their respective presidents and in the presence of Hatem Ben Arfa, reached an agreement on Tuesday July 1 under the guidance of the LFP's judiciary commission and through mutual efforts over the transfer of the player from Lyon to Marseille.

'The transfer is ratified by the judiciary commission on the date of 30 June 2008.'

Diouf praised Ben Arfa for his conduct throughout the drawn-out affair.

'We should salute the exemplary behaviour of Hatem, who never gave up despite the difficulty of the situation,' the president told www.om.net.

'He stuck to his desire to sign for us. Hatem was decisive in bringing this outcome around. I'm happy about this positive outcome for OM.'

Ben Arfa, who just missed out on a place in Les Bleus' squad for Euro 2008, claimed the deal had been finalised on Monday and trained with his new OM team-mates earlier on Tuesday.

He emerged from the three-hour meeting in the capital relieved the move had finally been sealed.

'My determination was such I did not see myself playing for another team than OM,' he said. 'I felt already like a Marseille player.'

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