KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTS: Thailand’s Worawi Makudi has won his fight against a ban from all football at the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne.
The former FIFA executive committee veteran was barred for five years by the world federation’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.
Makudi, former long-time head of the Football Association of Thailand, subsequently had the court sentence overturned in April 2017 and launched a further appeal against the FIFA judgment.
The FIFA appeal committee cut the ban to three years and six months but this has now been quashed by CAS. It substituted an nominal reprimand and a fine of CHF 5,000.
However CAS, in its judgment, ruled that Makudi had been partly to blame for his football status because he had failed to set before FIFA evidence on which sport’s supreme court had based its own decision.
Makudi 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 67-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.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has issued its decision in the appeal arbitration procedure between Mr Worawi Makudi, former President of the Football Association of Thailand (FAT) (2007-2015) and former member of the Executive Committee of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) (1997-2015), and FIFA.
In 2016, following an investigation into the revision of the statutes of the FAT, the Adjudicatory Chamber of the FIFA Ethics Committee issued a decision in which Mr Makudi was found to have infringed article 17 (forgery and falsification) and article 41 (obligation of the parties to collaborate) of the FIFA Code of Ethics.
It imposed a ban from taking part in any kind of football-related activity at national and international level for a period of five years and a fine of CHF 10,000.
Mr Makudi appealed such decision to the FIFA Appeal Committee which reduced the ban to three years and six months and maintained the fine at CHF 10,000.
Mr Makudi filed an appeal against the FIFA Appeal Committee decision at CAS. In the decision issued today, the CAS Panel in charge of this matter considered that, on the basis of the evidence available before the CAS, Worawi Makudi did not breach Article 17 of the FIFA Code of Ethics.
The breach of article 41 of the FIFA Code of Ethics was confirmed, but to a lesser degree than found by the FIFA instances.
Accordingly, the CAS Panel found the appropriate sanctions to be a reprimand and a fine of CHF 5,000 and cancelled the ban from taking part in any football-related activity.
The CAS Panel noted that Mr Makudi had presented additional witnesses and new information during the CAS proceedings which was not available to the FIFA instances that issued the previous decisions.
The additional evidence presented was important for the outcome of the case and the CAS Panel emphasized that Mr Makudi contributed to the fact that three instances were necessary to solve this matter because he failed to call certain witnesses in the proceedings before the FIFA instances, thereby depriving these bodies from the evidence available to CAS, which could have resulted in different decisions of the Adjudicatory Chamber and the FIFA Appeal Committee.
As a consequence, the CAS Panel did not grant any costs to Mr Makudi, although he was successful in part in this appeal procedure.