In a surprise move, the Football Association of Thailand (FAT) has re-appointed Siam Sport Syndicate to oversee its marketing and named a Malaysian to help run the Thai Premier League.
"We want professionals to help us. Siam Sport has returned to help us since the New Year. The company is capable of doing the job," FAT president Worawi Makudi said yesterday, after a three-hour meeting of the executive committee.
However, the FAT will oversee its commercial rights, said Worawi, who is reportedly close to the sport media firm.
Siam Sport withdrew from overseeing the FAT's commercial rights last year after Thai Premier League side Buriram United chairman Newin Chidchob questioned the legitimacy of the deal.
A House committee and a Senate panel looked into the matter but found no wrongdoing.
"There should not be a problem because I have offered my explanations [to Buriram United]," Worawi insisted.
The FAT formally appointed Kelly Sathirat as general manager of Thai Premier League Co to help TPL chairman Vichit Yamboonruang, Worawi said.
He said Sathirat was an experienced official, having worked with the Asian Football Confederation and the Malaysian Football Association.
Some critics wonder whether Sathirat is the right man for the job. They argue that the Malaysian league has not fared better than the Thai league and has been hit by several match-fixing scandals.
"I am not sure if he is the right choice," said commentator Apisit 'Nostradamus' Apisuksiri on his radio programme. "The Malaysia league has several problems."
Also at yesterday's meeting, the FAT formally appointed English Premier League chairman Sir David Richards as its adviser to oversee the broadcasting rights of the TPL.
Worawi also dismissed reports that he could sack the coach of the Thai national team, Winfried Schaefer.
"He will continue as coach," Worawi said. "I have never said that his contract would be terminated if Thailand did not have good results in their first two games of the Asian Cup qualifying round."
Thailand will begin their 2015 Asian Cup qualifying campaign at home to Kuwait on Feb 6 and travel to Lebanon in March with Iran the other team in their group.
Schaefer's contract with the FAT runs until June 2014.
About the author
- Writer: Tor Chittinand