Diego Maradona is planning to replace Sepp Blatter as president of Fifa, according to his close friend Victor Hugo Morales.
The legendary former Argentina footballer campaigned on behalf of Prince Ali bin al-Hussein during May’s presidential election, which Blatter comfortably won.
However, a few days later Blatter unexpectedly quit amid increasing pressure on his job following 14 people being indicted over Fifa-related issues including several members of the world football governing body.
Prince Ali is among the early front runners to replace Blatter, having convinced 73 football associations to support him in the first round of voting, and Maradona had previously suggested he could be the Jordanian’s vice-president under the new-look Fifa.
But Uruguayan journalist Morales – who worked with Maradona during last year’s World Cup as co-host of a TV show – has revealed the former Argentina head coach has his eye on running Fifa himself.
“He told me he was going to run for president of Fifa and authorised me to inform people,” Morales wrote on Twitter.
“‘I am a candidate’ were the four words Diego Maradona used to answer me when I consulted him about the nomination for the presidency of Fifa.”
A Fifa with Maradona in charge would certainly make for an interesting outcome if his topsy-turvy career to date is anything to go by.
Considered by many to be the best player to have ever graced a football pitch, Maradona is a World Cup-winner who starred for the likes of Barcelona and Napoli during his playing days.
However, he spent decades dealing with a cocaine addiction and was banished from World Cup 1994 in disgrace after testing positive for doping, while his ‘Hand of God’ goal is one of the most infamous in history.
Although the last decade has been comparatively tame – with his stint in charge of Argentina during the 2010 World Cup arguably the highlight – he does still occasionally hit the headlines for the wrong reasons.
For instance, in April he was filmed taking a swipe at a steward and smashing a camera phone out of a reporter’s hand as he stormed about the pitch in the aftermath of a charity match.