FIFA presidential candidate Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa would seek to use former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson in an advisory role should his election campaign prove successful.
The Asian Football Confederation president is one of five men in the running to succeed Sepp Blatter in the top job of world game’s governing body, along with Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein, Jerome Champagne, Gianni Infantino and Tokyo Sexwale.
Blatter, assumed the role in 1998, was given an eight-year ban from all football-related activities as a result of a “disloyal payment” made to UEFA president Michel Platini on FIFA’s behalf in 2011.
Platini, who had previously been in contention to replace Blatter, was also hit with an eight-year suspension, although both are contesting the sanctions.
With the elections set to take place next month, Sheikh Salman spoke fondly of former United boss Ferguson and believes the Scot could be a valuable ally should he prevail.
“Sir Alex has made a great contribution at UEFA. Personalities like this, who have given so much to the game, it is always nice to have their advice and have them around. We want to have an open-door policy,” he told Sky Sports.
When asked if Ferguson and Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore would be considered to be appointed to a board of advisors, Sheikh Salman replied: “Absolutely.
“They have the experience and personality. Everyone respects them and the work that they have done but there are other people around the world who will have a similar contribution.”
Sheikh Salman also expressed his sympathy for Platini, whom he feels would have made a strong candidate for the role.
“His track record proves he did a great job at UEFA and no one can deny that,” he said.
“UEFA feels for him and the same here. I respect Michel as a friend and a colleague. That’s why I jumped in and backed him as FIFA president.
“I’m sure he would have been a great president. We know him as a great player and a great administrator. His history speaks for itself.”