BANGKOK: Worawi Makudi is on the road which, he hopes, will eventually see him overturning a five-year FIFA ban and bring him back into the football family writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

The former long-time head of the Football Association of Thailand, has been handed the opening after being declared not guilty of forgery and falsification by an appeals court.

Worawi received the ban from FIFA’s ethics committee in October 2016 after the Southern Bangkok Criminal Court handed him a suspended 16-month prison sentence in 2015 for altering documents ahead of the 2013 FAT presidential election.

His lawyer Narinpong Jinapak told local meda: “It has been proven that Worawi Makudi, the former president of the Football Association of Thailand, is not guilty as charged. He is clean. He told me after learning of the court ruling that he is very happy.”

Jinapak  said his client would ask FIFA to lift the ban and, if thatc approach failed, would go to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Worawi was succeeded as head of the FAT in February 2016 by former police chief Somyot Poompanmuang and was banned again soon after for failing to respect the earlier suspension.

The 65-year-old, who was on the FIFA executive committee that voted to award the 2018 World Cup to Russia and the 2022 tournament to Qatar, also subsequently lost his place as an exco delegate from the Asian Football Confederation.