BANGKOK: Worawi Makudi was freed to spend more time pursuing his London legal action against Lord David Triesman after finally retaining control of the Thailand FA for four more years.

Makudi, a long-serving member of the FIFA exective committee, scored a 42-28 votes victory over former national team manager Virach Charnpanich. The election had been delayed after a row over controversial reforms to the voting system.

However FIFA had come to Makudi’s aid by warning the FAT of possible disciplinary consequences if it failed to approve the reforms and carry out the election. Under the old system the clubs had much wider representation in a 150-vote format. Representatives of more than 100 clubs had alleged the 62-year-old, president since 2007, had pressed the reforms to increase his election prospects.

Makudi said: “I thank all those who voted for me and supported my re-election. I’m confident this election was transparent and I will start work tomorrow.”

One club was disqualified from the election while there was another ‘no vote’.

Virach, also beaten by Makudi two years ago, complained: “This election was not fair and not transparent. The names of the voters today were mostly names that have no history with the FAT.”

Makudi, beaten decisively by Sheikh Salman Bin Ibrahim Al Khalifa in the Asian confederation presidential election in May, is suing Triesman over allegations that he had sought a bribe from the then FA chairman during England’s doomed 2018 World Cup bid campaign.

Triesman made his comments during a House of Commons inquiry but Makudi has won the right to challenge Triesman’s defence of parliamentary privilege.