French winger is the latest footballer caught without motor insurance

Ben Arfa Newcastle united

Newcastle United winger Hatem Ben Arfa has been disqualified from driving, becoming the latest high profile star to be caught driving without insurance.

Ben Arfa, 26, was caught doing 110mph in a 70mph zone last year. The French international did not hold valid insurance on the Mercedes he was driving at the time.

The Newcastle Magistrates Court heard that Ben Arfa sped past police on the A696 Wolsington Bypass dual carriageway in Newcastle on 6 September last year. When he was pulled over he was found to have no motor insurance.

Speaking via an interpreter, the midfielder pleaded guilty to holding no insurance and one count of speeding.

Defending barrister Michelle Brown said that her client could only apologise for the offences, which she described as a “misinterpretation”.

She said he believed his insurance was covered by a green card, which covers drivers in a foreign country for six months.

The star was slapped with a 49-day driving ban and a £5,100 fine.

Last week Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez was sentenced to 250 hours of community service and a six-month driving ban after pleading guilty to driving while disqualified and without insurance.

Following Tevez’s trial, Motor Insurers’ Bureau chief executive Ashton West said that high profile footballers must set a better example to young male drivers, and that Tevez had joined a “disgraced squad of footballers who have dropped the ball when it comes to car insurance”.