MANAMA: After 18 years, Thailand’s controversial Worawi Makudi has been kicked off the FIFA executive committee writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
Makudi, 63, was first voted on to the governing board of the world football federation back in 1997, one year before Sepp Blatter succeeded Joao Havelange as president.
However, at today’s congress of the Asian Football Confederation, he was ousted as its east zone FIFA delegate by Malaysia’s Prince Abdullah, son of a former AFC president.
Makudi’s defeat means a departure from the world game’s top table of yet another of the characters controversially entangled in the scandal surronding the awards of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar respectively.
Makudi was general secretary of the Football Association of Thailand for a decade from 1996 to 2007 before stepping up as president eight years ago.
In the past he has successfully fended off accusations of irregularities over alleged misuse of FIFA development funds but one battle he did not win was against Lord David Triesman, former head of the Football Association and leader of England’s doomed 2018 World Cup bid.
In May 2011, Triesman told the UK parliamentary culture, media and sport committee that Makudi had demanded the TV rights to a friendly between England and Thailand in return for voting for the FA’s vote in the scandal-assailed World Cup bid process.
Makudi’s attempt to sue Triesman for libel, notwithstanding the allegations being bound by parliamentary privilege, was rejected in February last year by the Court of Appeal.
In the past 18 months Makudi had become increasingly concerned about his FIFA re-election prospects, trying to garner support in the Gulf, in particular, and then turning up as a member of the FIFA delegation to the International Board annual meeting in Belfast earlier this spring.
Elected . . .
President and FIFA vice-president: Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa (Bahrain; uncontested)
FIFA executive committee: Prince Abdullah Al-Haj Ibni Sultan Hj Ahmad Shah (Malaysia, ASEAN zone), Kohzo Tashima (Japan, east zone), Sheikh Ahmad Fahad Al Ahmad Al Sabah (Kuwait, west zone).
AFC vice-presidents: Winston Lee Boon Aun (Singapore, ASEAN), Zhang Jilong (China, east), Ali Kafashian Naeini (Iran, central), Saoud A. Aziz Al Mohannadi (Qatar, west), Praful Manoharbhai Patel (India, south).
AFC female exco members: Moya Dodd (Australia, ASEAN), Han Un Gyong (North Korea, east), Zohra Mehri (Afghanistan, central), Susan Shalabi (Palestine, west), Mahfuza Akhter (Bangladesh, south).
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