Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson has hit back at Sepp Blatter after the FIFA president suggested that Wayne Rooney should be brought into line by his coaches.
Blatter, speaking in a BBC radio interview on Thursday, said that Ferguson and England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson should take a harder line in dealing with Rooney.
However, Ferguson has responded by claiming that there are more serious issues Blattter should be concerned with than the relationship between himself and Rooney.
“I think they (FIFA) are quite happy to take up smaller issues, like talking about a player at Manchester United who is 19 years of age, rather than pursue the really important issues in the game at this present day,” Ferguson told reporters on Friday.
Rooney was sent off in a Champions League match last month for sarcastically applauding the referee .
Ferguson, however, believes Blatter have more important matters to consider.
“He is in a very influential position and I think people do listen to what he has got to say,” Ferguson said.
“Some of the things he says are very interesting and worthwhile listening to, particularly talking about multi-club ownerships.
“He is concerned about that and I hope he does something about that because that’s a concern for everyone.
“And we hear talk about certain clubs having signed 30 African boys. That should be a concern to him and these are major issues which I don’t think FIFA ever take up.”
One issue Ferguson would like to see resolved is that of Nigerian midfielder John Obi Mikel.
United thought they had signed the 18-year-old from Norwegian club Lyn for £4 last April but Mikel insists he wants to play for Chelsea. United and Lyn have lodged a complaint with FIFA over Chelsea’s behaviour.
“That’s in the hands of FIFA so we are awaiting information and some decision from FIFA in regards to this important issue,” Ferguson said.
“It’s something they should really be looking into.”