More woes for Worawi as SAT steps in (14/05/2011)

The Sports Authority of Thailand added salt to Worawi Makudi's wounds yesterday saying he is no longer Football Association of Thailand president and that the postponement of last Friday's election for FAT boss was illegal.

Worawi and members of the FAT executive board called off the election claiming that some member clubs were represented by more than one voter.

Deputy SAT governor Somkid Pinthong yesterday told the Senate committee on sports, chaired by Naruemol Siriwat, that the postponement was unlawful because such a move must be endorsed by two-third of eligible voters who were present at the meeting.

"It was clearly an illegal move," said Somkid.

She said SAT representatives at the controversial meeting tried to check if the registered voters had proper authorised papers but Worawi told them that they had no right to do this because they were just observers.

According to Somkid, Worawi is no longer FAT president because his term expired at the end of last year and that he could be acting president for a maximum 90 days after that.

Under the 1985 SAT law and FAT regulations, an election for a new FAT president must be held within 90 days of the incumbent president's term ending.

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

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

Worawi has said a re-arranged election will be held within two weeks but Somkid said the SAT may do the job.

"Under the law, at least one-third of member clubs can ask the SAT to call an election for FAT president within 21 days of their request," she said.

"We do not want to organise such an election but we may have to do it."

Somkid said the SAT on Tuesday sent the FAT a letter seeking an explanation why it called off the election.

If the FAT fails to give a reply within seven days, or by next Tuesday, the SAT will consider action against the FAT, she said.

In another development, Worawi has dismissed England's allegations that he asked for favours in return for his vote for England's 2018 World Cup bid.

Speaking in the British parliament on Tuesday, former English Football Association chairman David Triesman accused Worawi, who is a Fifa executive member, of asking to be awarded the TV rights to a friendly between Thailand and England which had been scheduled in Bangkok this year in exchange for his vote.

Worawi reportedly did not vote for England and the 2018 World Cup was awarded to Russia. After that, England called off the friendly.

Worawi, who is in Zurich to attend a Fifa meeting, said yesterday the accusation was totally groundless.

He said the friendly had been scheduled long before the World Cup vote took place last December and that he had never talked to Triesman about the match's TV rights.

He said normally the TV rights of a match must be arranged under Fifa regulations.

Worawi said he was considering taking legal action against Triesman, who led England's failed bid.

Worawi is expected to return to Thailand on Sunday and will hold a press conference on Monday .

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