• Availability... Football Federation Australia is confident Alessandro Del Piero will be avaibable to play for the A-League All Stars. (Getty)
FFA believes it will be able to successfully negotiate an arrangement with Alessandro Del Piero to ensure he plays for the A-League All Stars against Manchester United.
By
Greg Prichard

8 May 2013 - 1:15 PM  UPDATED 8 May 2013 - 2:07 PM

The World Game understands the Italian superstar may require an appearance fee above the nominated match fee before agreeing to play in the sell-out game at ANZ Stadium on 20 July.

A-League chief Damien de Bohun moved to quell doubts about Del Piero's involvement, expressing his optimism about the chances of the Sydney FC marquee man lining up in the Ange Postecoglou-coached A-League XI.

'We have had initial discussions with Alessandro’s management about the possibility of him playing," De Bohun said.

'Those discussions were temporarily put on hold because we didn’t want to pre-empt the voting by the fans on who should play, but now that Alessandro is way up there in the voting we will be talking to his management again."

De Bohun told TWG there had been no suggestion that Del Piero wouldn’t be prepared to play in the game. He also said there had been no mention of a special fee in the discussions that had so far taken place.

'Alessandro hasn’t said that he would require a fee," De Bohun said. 'So it’s premature to say that would be required for him to play. At this stage, we don’t need to have that sort of discussion.

'Now that he is one of the fans’ choices, as you would expect him to be, we will have ongoing discussions and we will work with ADP, his management and Sydney FC to do our best to make it happen that he plays. We’ve had no indication that process will be difficult."

Manchester United and its superstars, including Wayne Rooney, Ryan Giggs and Robin Van Persie, are massive drawcards in a rare trip Down Under.

FFA would be keen to have Del Piero playing in the A-League All-stars as it would represent a glowing endorsement by him of the A-League and football in general in this country.

De Bohun said he is confident Del Piero wants to play in the match.

'From the moment he set foot in the country, Alessandro has been about helping the game here in every way he can," he said. 'He supports the concept of the All Stars game, and I believe he would love to be involved."

De Bohun said a possible game between Sydney FC – including Del Piero – and Japanese club side Sagan Tosu in Japan on 24 July would not prevent Del Piero from playing in the All Stars game.

'We’ve already established in our discussions with Alessandro’s management that if the Sydney FC game goes ahead he could play in that and the All Stars game," De Bohun said. 'The two games are four days apart, and he could leave the day after All Stars game to join his teammates in Japan."

Asked if he knew whether Del Piero would play in the All Stars game, Sydney FC chief executive Tony Pignata said it was out of the club’s hands.

'It’s not a Sydney FC contractual thing with Alessandro," Pignata said. 'The All Stars game is run by the FFA, and I imagine they would have to sort things out with a number of players. The FFA will have to talk to Alessandro’s management. It’s a personal choice for Alessandro to make."

Pignata said Del Piero is holidaying in Italy at the moment.

A-League players are not contractually bound to play in the All Stars game but, considering the magnitude of the occasion, it would be surprising if any did not want to play.

De Bohun said FFA may have to hold discussions regarding the All Stars game with the management of fellow marquee players Shinji Ono (Western Sydney Wanderers) and Emile Heskey (Newcastle Jets), but he believed all eligible players would embrace the concept.