Former Chelsea striker Nicholas Anelka has been denied a return to football after the president of Algeria’s top division confirmed rules regarding allowing non-internationals of a certain age will not be changed.
The Frenchman had hoped to sign for Algerian club NA Hussein Dey, but rules in the country prohibit clubs from signing players over the age of 27 who are not internationals.
Mahfoud Kerbadji, president of the country’s top flight, said:
“The laws relating to foreign players and their right to play in the Algerian league are clear. Only those under the age of 27 and who are internationals for their countries are allowed to sign for our clubs.”
Anelka retired from international football after the 2010 World Cup after falling out with then France coach Raymond Domenech.
The 35-year old joined Chelsea in 2008 from current Championship side Bolton Wanders, who were then in the Premiership, and helped the club win the ‘double’ of league and FA Cup in 2010, the first time the club had won both in a single season. He scored 38 goals in 120 appearances before being allowed to join Chinese club Shanghai Shenua by manager Andre Villas-Boas in 2012. His last club was Mumbai City FC in the Indian Super League. He did play in England as recently as 2013 for West Bromwich Albion before leaving the Premiership after the controversy surrounding the ‘quenelle’ gesture.