Worawi plans to fight against Fifa ban

Worawi plans to fight against Fifa ban

Worawi Makudi during the 2013 FAT election.
Worawi Makudi during the 2013 FAT election.

Former Thai football chief Worawi Makudi plans to appeal against Fifa's five-year ban.

Fifa's anti-corruption court said on Tuesday it found Worawi guilty of forgery and falsification of documents and refusing to cooperate with investigators.

Worawi, a former Fifa executive committee member, was also fined 10,000 Swiss francs (approximately 350,000 baht), the adjudicatory chamber of Fifa's ethics committee said in a statement.

The ban from all national and international football activities started immediately, it said.

The case centred on his 2013 campaign to win re-election as president of the Football Association of Thailand (FAT).

The ethics committee opened an investigation into Worawi in July last year after he was convicted of forgery by the Southern Bangkok Criminal Court in a case filed by his opponents following the 2013 FAT presidential election.

Worawi, who was given a suspended 16-month jail sentence by the court, is appealing the ruling.

"The adjudicatory chamber of the ethics committee, chaired by Hans-Joachim Eckert, has banned Worawi Makudi, former president of the Football Association of Thailand (FAT) and former Fifa executive committee member, for five years from all football-related activities," the statement said.

"The investigations against Mr Makudi were opened on 23 July 2015 and were conducted by Dr Cornel Borbely, chairman of the investigatory chamber of the ethics committee, following information that Mr Makudi had been convicted of forgery by the Southern Bangkok Criminal Court.

"On 15 July 2016, the final report was transmitted to the adjudicatory chamber, which opened formal adjudicatory proceedings on 22 July 2016.

"Due to the fact that Mr Makudi made alterations to the FAT statutes without the approval of the FAT congress, the adjudicatory chamber of the ethics committee found Mr Makudi guilty of forgery and falsification."

Worawi, who is on an overseas trip, intends to fight Fifa's ban, a person who is close to the former FAT boss said yesterday.

An appeals court is scheduled to announce its ruling on Nov 3.

"If the court rules in his favour, Worawi will use it as proof of his innocence to lodge an appeal with Fifa,'' said the person, who asked for anonymity.

A Fifa executive committee member for 18 years as one of the Asian Football Confederation's representatives until he was voted off last year, Worawi is the ninth member of the 24-man Fifa ruling body which oversaw the bidding contests for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups who has since been banned for unethical conduct by the sport's governing agency.

Worawi, then FAT president, was initially suspended by Fifa for 90 days in October last year over ethics violations.

Earlier this year, Fifa extended the suspension by 45 days.

It then handed him another three-month suspension for failing to obey the previous ban.

With the suspension, Worawi, who became FAT president in 2007, could not stand in February's FAT presidential election.

With the backing of Worawi's opponents, former police chief Somyot Poompunmuang comfortably beat former Thailand coach Charnwit Phalajivin, who was seen as Worawi's representative, in the polls.

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