Arsenal legend Thierry Henry was denied the chance to make a farewell appearance for his former club in the Emirates Cup.
Henry had agreed with Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger that he would play switch teams for the last five minutes of Sunday's friendly between his current club New York Red Bulls and the Gunners.
But the France striker was robbed of the chance to don the famous red Arsenal shirt for one last time by FIFA red tape.
Referee Kevin Friend had to refuse permission because FIFA rules state that a player cannot appear for both clubs in the same game even in a friendly.
Instead Henry had to make do with an emotional reception from the near capacity 60,000 crowd who packed the Emirates Stadium for the pre-season tournament.
He gave Arsenal fans a final glimpse of his talent with a superb pass that unhinged the Gunners' defence and led to Kyle Bartley's late own goal which gave New York a 1-1 draw.
Henry told The Sun: "I wanted to do it and I'm sure the fans would have wanted to see it, but we were told at half-time it was not possible. Stupid rules."
Wenger must wish he still had Henry in his prime after six seasons without a trophy and he added: "Thierry was desperate to do it."
Henry, 33, is Arsenal's all-time leading goal-scorer and his goals helped the north London club win two Premier League titles -- the team went ubeaten through the 2003-04 campaign -- and three FA Cups before he joined Barcelona in 2007.