French striker Nicolas Anelka has been refused permission to join an Algerian club because he is too old.
The 35-year-old former Arsenal, Chelsea, Juventus and Real Madrid star was on the verge of joining Nasr Athletique d'Hussein-Dey (NAHD), but the move was blocked by the Algerian Football Federation.
Mahfoud Kerbadj, president of the Algerian professional football league, said: "The rules concerning foreign players being allowed to play in the Algerian league are clear.
"Only those aged under 27 and playing on the international level for their countries are allowed to sign up with our clubs."
Anelka has been training with NAHD and had hoped to sign an 18-month contract with what would have been his 13th club.
His most recent employers were Mumbai City in the Indian Super League following his departure from West Brom last March after his controversial quenelle gesture.