Rio Ferdinand: QPR defender emerges as shock choice to fulfil the FA's candidate to run for Great Britain's Fifa vice-presidential role

The former Manchester United defender is still playing with Queens Park Rangers and would need to be assured that the job can fit around his playing commitments

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The Independent Football

Rio Ferdinand has emerged as a surprise possible choice to be the Football Association's candidate for Britain's Fifa vice-presidential position.

The FA is drawing up a list of potential contenders after FA vice-chairman David Gill, the Manchester United director, ruled himself out.

Ferdinand is one of several names under consideration, according to an FA source, despite the fact the former England defender is still playing for QPR.

Other former players who are being considered by the FA are Graeme Le Saux, Paul Elliott and David James.

The governing body is keen to harness the pulling power of a high-profile former player, but if ex-England and Manchester United defender Ferdinand is to show any interest in the role he would have to be sure he could fit the duties around his playing schedule.


Whoever is chosen, they will have to stand for election next March against opponents being put forward by Scotland and Wales - probably SFA president Campbell Ogilivie and Welsh FA president Trefor Lloyd Hughes. Uefa member countries will then vote for the person to succeed Northern Ireland's Jim Boyce, who is stepping down in June.

Le Saux, the former Chelsea and England full-back, already has an FA role sitting on its inclusion advisory board, as does Paul Elliott, another former Chelsea defender. Both also have existing links with Uefa.

Ferdinand joined QPR in the summer

Former England goalkeeper James is currently player-manager of the Kerala Blasters side in the Indian Super League and has been a regular pundit on television.

Boyce has stated he has no plans to run for the post again, while the Welsh FA believes it is their turn to have a person in the position, never having had it before in nearly 70 years since it was established.

The Welsh had been under the impression there was a gentleman's agreement to let them have the post for the next four years, but FA insiders say any rotation deal was scrapped when Fifa reforms meant the vice-presidency had to be voted on by all Uefa member nations rather than just the four home associations.