Saturday, May 14, 2011

Worawi removed

Fifa executive committee member Worawi Makudi, who has been implicated in a World Cup bribery scandal, is no longer head of the Football Association of Thailand (FAT) according to a government sporting body.

The Sports Authority of Thailand (SAT) said that the postponement of FAT elections last week was illegal, and as no election had been held within the required time limit after Worawi's presidency expired at the end of 2010, his position was void.

Worawi was to have been challenged for the presidency at FAT elections last Friday but the poll was postponed when the executive board said some of the clubs had more than one voting representative.

"It was clearly an illegal move," SAT deputy governor Somkid Pinthong told a Senate committee on sports, according to a report in Thursday's Bangkok Post.

"An election for FAT president must have been completed by March 31," Somkid said. "As an election was not held by that date, Worawi and his executive board have lost their positions.

"In fact, they did not even have the authority to call the May 6 election."

The FAT had planned to hold an election within two weeks, but had only until Tuesday to answer an SAT query over the initial postponement or face further action.

Worawi was outside the country attending to Fifa business but was reportedly due back tomorrow and was scheduled to hold a press conference on Monday at which he will address the threat to his tenure as FAT president and Fifa executive committee member.

He was also expected to address allegations by English Football Association chairman David Triesman that said Worawi and three other executive committee members asked for various kinds of payment in exchange for their support of England's failed bid to host the 2018 World Cup.

Worawi was accused of asking for control of the television rights to a proposed Thailand-England friendly in Bangkok this year, which did not proceed after England's World Cup bid failed. Worawi has denied the allegations.

Worawi had also publicly declared that he would support challenger Mohammed Hammam in the upcoming elections for the FIFA presidency, against incumbent Sepp Blatter. -- AP

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