Former West Brom striker Nicolas Anelka told he is too old to play in Algeria

Nicolas Anelka

The controversial striker is not young enough to play in the North African country.

Free agent Nicolas Anelka has been told that he is too old to play professional football in Algeria, according to a report on Sky Sports.

Anelka, who has played for Arsenal, Bolton Wanderers, Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea in the UK joined West Brom from Juventus last summer.

But after he scored a goal for the club against West Ham in December of last year he performed a controversial celebration.

His ‘quenelle’ gesture was deemed anti-Semitic and he was given a five game ban by the FA - when he was told to apologise by West Brom he refused, cancelled his contract via Twitter before the club officially confirmed he had been fired in March.

He has most recently been plying his trade in the Indian Super League with Mumbai City.

But the ex-West Brom man looked set to join Algerian side NA Hussein Dey this month. Their present Mahfoud Ould Zmirli told El Watan this week that he is training with the club, Anelka himself even stating:

"I have a good relationship with the club president Mahfoud Ould Zmirli and I came in order to sign. Algeria is a beautiful country and stage Bensiam is great. It is even better than what I have seen with some clubs abroad."

But while he may indeed want to join the club he is apparently too old.

Algerian football denies access to the league from foreigners over the age of 27-years-old, to prevent the likes of Anelka, 36 in March, from clogging up the system from their impressive talent coming through the ranks.

According to Algerie-Focus the club are trying to receive special dispensation to allow Anelka the move, an attempt that has been rejected. Algerian professional league president Mahfoud Kerbadj stated that Anelka cannot sign for the team, as the rule will not be changed for one player:

"The laws relating to foreign players covering the right to evolve in the Algerian league are clear. Only those aged under 27 and international selections in their countries are allowed to sign in our clubs."

So it looks as though Anelka will have to look elsewhere to continue playing his career.

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