Fifa warns Pattaya FC to drop lawsuit

Fifa demanded on Tuesday that Pattaya FC withdraw its lawsuit against the Football Association of Thailand (FAT) and its president Worawi Makudi, or the country could face international sanctions.

  • Published: 18/06/2013 at 08:36 PM
  • Newspaper section: breakingnews

"Please take note that should the club's action [lawsuit] not to be withdrawn by 24 June 2013, the matter will be referred to the Fifa Emergency Committee to take appropriate measures against the FAT, which may include immediate and indefinite suspension," Fifa deputy secretary-general Markus Kattner said in a faxed letter, dated Monday and sent to FAT secretary-general Ong-arj Kosinkar.

"Such a suspension would mean that the FAT would lose all its membership rights ... as well as prevent all Thailand teams (national or club) from having international contact and participating in Fifa and AFC [Asian Football Confederation].

"It would also mean that neither the FAT nor its members or officials could benefit from any Fifa or AFC development programme, course or training during the term of the suspension."

Kattner added: "Please be reminded that in accordance with the decision of the Fifa Associations Committee on 14 February 2013, the FAT must adopt revised FAT statutes and only then can the election [for FAT president] take place and by no later than 30 September 2013.

"Failure to respect this decision would again mean the matter would be referred to the competent Fifa body to take appropriate measures."

The FAT was scheduled to vote on its revised regulations to comply with the Fifa statutes on Saturday but the meeting was cancelled following a court order.

On Friday, the Min Buri court issued an injunction preventing the FAT from considering the matter until the court reaches a verdict in a case filed by Regional League club Pattaya FC against the FAT and Worawi.

In the letter, Kattner said the FAT should take action against Pattaya FC and inform Fifa what steps the FAT will take to ensure that the club will withdraw its lawsuit.

"We refer to an action lodged by an FAT club [Pattaya FC] before an ordinary court of law which effectively prevented the FAT congress from going ahead," he said.

"As you aware, pursuant to ... Fifa statutes, the FAT shall manage their affairs independently and ensure no influence by third parties. Recourse to ordinary courts of law is, as a general rule, prohibited and the FAT shall impose sanctions on parties that fail to respect the aforementioned obligation.

"By pursuing their action before the ordinary court of law, the club's behaviour prevents the FAT from managing its affairs independently and undermines the competent decision-making bodies of the FAT."

Worawi says an FAT presidential election cannot be held before its revised statutes are approved.

But his opponents demand that the FAT organise the election immediately, and allow the new administration to formally adopt its revised charter.

They argue that under Thailand's sports law, an election for chief of a sporting organisation must be held within one month of the incumbent's term expiring. Worawi's term ended on Sunday.

At the centre of the controversy is the number of voters in the FAT election. It would be 72, down from about 180 in the current rules, as recommended by Fifa.

Worawi's opponents say he would gain from this but Worawi insists he actually would be at a disadvantage.

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