FIFA have blocked Wellington Phoenix from signing Alex Jones on a short-term loan deal from Birmingham City, New Zealand Football (NZF) confirmed on Tuesday.
The A-League outfit attempted to bring in Jones for the rest of the season but the online process for the transfer to go through was not able to be completed in time.
Phoenix reportedly sent the relevant paperwork to NZF’s Auckland offices on January 30, three days before the transfer cut off on February 2, but a public holiday on February 1 meant the deadline passed before the paperwork could be completed.
Jones, 21, will return to Birmingham for the rest of 2015-16.
“While FIFA acknowledged the individual circumstances at NZF which led to the delay of Alex’s transfer, they have ruled to protect the integrity of their global deadlines for the transfer of players,” NZF competitions manager Daniel Farrow said.
“Given the unfortunate circumstances, we are obviously disappointed at the outcome for both Alex and the Wellington Phoenix.”
Phoenix are second last in the A-League standings and have won just two games since mid-November.