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‘Bang Yee’ begins fightback, seeks help from SAT

‘Bang Yee’ begins fightback, seeks help from SAT

FOOTBALL: Worawi Makudi insisted yesterday (Jan 21) he is eligible to stand in next month’s election for Football Association of Thailand president.

By Bangkok Post

Wednesday 22 January 2020, 09:26AM

Former FAT president Worawi Makudi speaks at a press conference on yesterday (Jan 21). Photo: Bangkok Post

Former FAT president Worawi Makudi speaks at a press conference on yesterday (Jan 21). Photo: Bangkok Post

The former FAT chief, who has been disqualified from contesting the Feb 12 polls, lashed out at the FAT and its current boss Somyot Poompunmuang at a press conference.

He also submitted a letter to the Sports Authority of Thailand asking the SAT to look into alleged wrongdoings by the FAT and demanding the postponement of the election.

Worawi, who was the FAT chief from 2007-2015, claimed there were “dubious activities” during Somyot’s reign.

Worawi was informed by the FAT last week that he was ineligible to contest the election.

The FAT said Worawi could not stand in the election because the regulations state that a person who is or was sued by the organisation or suspended by Fifa is deemed unqualified to seek the FAT’s top office.

With Worawi out, there are only two candidates in the election - Somyot and Nakhon Sawan MP Pinyo Nirot.

Worawi, now 68, was found guilty by a Thai court in 2015 of forging documents during a re-election campaign as the FAT head, although the Appeals Court overturned the conviction in 2017.

Worawi, also a former Fifa executive committee member, was suspended from all football-related activities by the sport’s governing body in October 2015 for five years following the court’s ruling. His ban was cut by 18 months in 2018 after he took his case to Fifa's appeals committee.

Last year, he was cleared by the Court of Arbitration for Sport of an ethics breach related to forgery and falsification.

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At Tuesday's press conference, Worawi said the FAT regulations are unfair.

“If the FAT wants to disqualify an election candidate, then it can just sue the person,” said Worawi, who added that the Appeals Court had found him not guilty.

He said it was normal for Fifa to suspend its official during an investigation.

Affectionately called ‘Bang Yee’ by the Thai press, Worawi said a court had ordered the FAT under Somyot to pay Siam Sport Syndicate 50 million baht in damages for unfairly terminating a TV broadcast contract.

“This could mean Somyot is ineligible to run in the election,” he said.

Somyot was quick to issue a statement saying the FAT terminated the deal to protect the organisation's interest and that it is appealing the case.

The statement also claimed Worawi gained personally from Siam Sport and that the FAT is taking legal action against him.

Somyot was voted the FAT president in 2016 when Worawi could not contest the election.

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