(Picture: Action Images via Reuters)
Gillingham’s proposed signing of experienced defender Bondz N’Gala has fallen through because of a recently implemented FIFA ruling.
The 27-year-old centre-back left National League side Eastleigh by mutual consent and thought he had joined the Gills yesterday evening, but FIFA regulations say he has played for too many clubs already this season.
Before joining Eastleigh in November, N’Gala also played for Barnet earlier in the campaign, and FIFA says players cannot play for more than two clubs in one season.
In a club statement, Gillingham said they did not realise the ruling including National League sides, adding: “As a result of N’Gala playing for both Barnet and Eastleigh during the 2016-17 season, this unhelpful regulation means that he will not be able to play for Gillingham.
“Club chairman Paul Scally and head coach Ady Pennock are both extremely disappointed by this outcome.
“However, the club were not made aware of this regulation, one that has also scuppered signings at other EFL clubs in the past 48 hours.”
Ulrich Nnomo’s move from Leyton Orient to Paris FC was one of the deals to be halted at the final hour, after it was established that he too had already played for two clubs this season.
As well as representing Orient, the young Frenchman made a reserve game for French club Chateauroux, and will now return to Brisbane road.
Similarly, Crewe have had to cancel a loan deal for Scunthorpe winger Jonny Margetts because he has already played for Iron this season, and Lincoln City.