Pinit Ngarmpring and Virach Charnpanich, candidates in the election for president of the Football Association of Thailand (FAT), came together yesterday to attack incumbent FAT boss Worawi Makudi.
They alleged that Worawi had delayed the poll to give himself an advantage in getting re-elected.
The election was initially scheduled for Saturday, one day before Worawi's third two-year term expires. But Worawi has since claimed the electoral code must be changed to comply with Fifa's charter so Saturday will now be used for FAT's executives and members to consider the matter.
Yesterday's press conference was organised by football fan Pinit but former national team manager Virach said he joined it because he and Pinit have the same objective.
"We both want a fair and transparent election," Virach said.
Also at the function was Adisak Benjasiriwan, who will become FAT secretary-general if Virach wins.
Pinit said the Fifa statutes, ratified by its members last months, and the FAT election are separate matters.
"I can assure you that the Fifa statutes do not say that a member country must change its election regulations," he said.
"So there is no reason for Worawi, whose term ends on June 16, to change the FAT regulations now."
Virach said he wondered why Worawi tried to change the FAT regulations now because Fifa had given a guideline _ and not an order _ to member countries regarding elections for their football chiefs several years ago.
"Why didn't he do this a long time ago? Why is he trying to do it while his term is expiring?" he said.
"This may prove that he wants to gain an upper hand in the election."
He called on the Sports Authority of Thailand (SAT) to keep a close eye on the issue.
According to Worawi, the number of the eligible voters in the upcoming election will be 72, down from about 180 under the current rules.
Both Pinit and Virach said they wondered why Worawi had to cut the number of the eligible voters and then add 30 new voters. They also said if either were to win the election, the other would be invited to work at the FAT.
Worawi and Fifa officials will hold a press conference to clarify the Fifa statutes on Friday.
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Writer: TOR CHITTINAND