Hatem Ben Arfa returns to Africa

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HATEM Ben Arfa has been given compassionate leave by Newcastle United.

Ben Arfa was due to play for Newcastle United’s reserves away to Bolton Wanderers last night.

Manager Alan Pardew was keen for Ben Arfa to top up his fitness at the County Ground after being left on the bench in Saturday’s 2-1 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers.

However, a member of Ben Arfa’s family has fallen ill, and he’s been allowed to join them in Tunisia.

Assistant manager John Carver said: “Hatem wasn’t playing because he’s had a bit of bad news back home. The manager’s given him a few days off.”

FULL story in Wednesday’s Mail ...