Somyot gets backing from Asian football governing body

Somyot gets backing from Asian football governing body

Pol Gen Somyot Poompunmuang raises his fist in celebration after winning the election for president of the Football Association of Thailand at Hua Mak Indoor Stadium on Thursday. (Photo by Patipat Janthong)
Pol Gen Somyot Poompunmuang raises his fist in celebration after winning the election for president of the Football Association of Thailand at Hua Mak Indoor Stadium on Thursday. (Photo by Patipat Janthong)

The new president of the Football Association of Thailand (FAT) has received backing from the Asian Football Confederation following his landslide victory.

Hours after Somyot Poompunmuang was announced the winner on Thursday, AFC president Salman bin Ibrahim al-Khalifa sent a letter to congratulate the former national police chief.

"I assure you of AFC's full support for your efforts to further raise the profile of football in your country and look forward to meeting you later this month in Zurich at the Extraordinary Fifa Congress," he said.

Pol Gen Somyot swept the election by bagging 62 votes against four for Charnwit Phalajivin, believed to have been running as a proxy for disgraced Worawi Makudi.

His victory put an end to the reign of Worawi, who was in charge of the association for over a decade.

Worawi lost his seat as a Fifa executive member last year and was suspended by the world football governing body in October over an alleged breach of its code of ethics. Worawi denies any wrongdoing. 

Pol Gen Somyot's position will not be made official until the Sports Authority of Thailand approves the results.

But a court fight could be ahead of him as FAT lawyer Narinpong Jinapak, one of Worawi's close aides,  sent a representative to lodge an appeal with SAT governor Sakol Wannapong, requesting the election  be declared null and void, after the result was announced.


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