LAUSANNE: Worawi Makudi, the controversy-scarred FIFA executive committee member, is to have his re-election as Thailand’s football boss challenged in the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Sport’s supreme court has announced that an appeal against the outcome of the election by defeated candidate Virach Chanpanich will be heard on March 25-26.
Last October 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.
FIFA had come to Makudi’s aid by warning the Football Assocuiation of Thailand 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 has been president of FAT since 2007 and is one of its longest-serving members of the FIFA. He joined, as a delegate from the Asian confederation, in 1997 – the year before Sepp Blatter became president of the world federation.
Last May Makudi was beaten decisively by Sheikh Salman Bin Ibrahim Al Khalifa in the AFC presidential election. He is currently suing Lord David 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 later won the right to challenge Triesman’s defence of parliamentary privilege.
In the past Makudi – an one-time ally of disgraced former FIFA president Mohamed bin Hammam – has been cleared by FIFA of flouting rules on football development grants.