Fans demand scalp of football boss Worawi (12/12/2010)

Fed up with the national team's dismal performance, about 200 fans staged a protest yesterday to force Worawi Makudi to resign as Football Association of Thailand (FAT) president .

The demonstration outside the Channel 3 office was led by Pinit Ngam-pring, leader of the Cheer Thai Power group, and Pipat Varamethpipat, leader of Muang Thong United supporters.

It was the first of a series of planned protests, with the next one scheduled for FAT headquarters at Supachalasai stadium next Sunday.

Mr Worawi was apparently unshaken by the protest and insisted he would not quit.

The protesters handed an open letter to Channel 3 journalist Sorayuth Suthasanachinda demanding, among other issues, that Mr Worawi resign and that the FAT initiate a new system for electing its executives, allowing the public to have a say.

They also demanded that Mr Worawi meet them for talks next Sunday.

The demonstrators said Thailand's first-round exit at last week's Suzuki Cup (Southeast Asian championship) in Jakarta was the last straw.

The Thais could only secure two draws against Laos and Malaysia and a defeat against Indonesia, sealing their demise.

The demonstrators said they had submitted a protest letter to Mr Worawi earlier this year after the U23 team were sent packing in the first round of the 2009 SEA Games.

Mr Worawi promised to act but has since done nothing, the protesters said.

"As Thais, we want to see Thai football move forward and not backward," Mr Pinit said.

Mr Pipat said: "We want a football boss with a vision and not one who only daydreams about Thailand qualifying for the World Cup."

In the past 12 months, Thailand were eliminated in the Asian Cup qualifying and drew 0-0 with Maldives at last month's Asian Games.

At the Radisson Hotel, U16 team manager Kasama Chanawong and his players gave Mr Worawi a bouquet of flowers to show their support for the FA chief.

"I will not resign because I have done nothing wrong in running the association," Mr Worawi said.

Mr Worawi claimed he had initiated several development programmes for players of every level and gender.

He said he could not meet the protesters next Sunday because he has to go to Abu Dhabi to attend the ongoing Club World Cup.

Mr Pipat said this only showed that Mr Worawi was not sincere in trying to solve problems .

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