Thai soccer boss says FA will not be disbanded
BANGKOK, Sept 19 – Thailand’s Football Association is not facing disbandment over allegations of corruption, it’s president Worawi Makudi said today.
Makudi, a FIFA executive committee member and one of the most influential people in Asian soccer, appeared last week before a parliamentary committee to explain the Football Association of Thailand’s (FAT) setting up of the Thailand Premier League company.
A spokesman for the house panel said on Friday the FAT could be disbanded if it was found that its motivation for establishing the company was to generate profit.
Worawi said he was invited to discuss issues related to finance, taxation and strategies for Thai soccer and was baffled by media reports of a possible disbandment.
“The news that the association may face disbandment is very damaging. The association did not do anything against the laws and regulations,” Worawi told a news conference.
“We did nothing wrong, so why are we talking about the disbandment of the association? I don’t understand.”
“I believe there is a force out there that is committed to discrediting the association,” he added without elaborating.
Supachai Chaisamut, a spokesman for the house corruption committee, said on Friday it was illegal under Thai law for an association such as the FAT to set up a company with the aim of making profits. He said it could be dissolved and probed by the Revenue Department.
Worawi has faced graft allegations in the past but was eventually cleared of any charges.
In 2011, FIFA launched a formal investigation after he was accused of spending $860,000 in football development grants for projects on land he personally owns. Soccer’s world governing body eventually cleared him of any wrongdoing.
The head of the FAT’s legal team, Veera Khammee, said the establishment of the Thai Premier League company complied with Thai laws and the requirements of FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). – Reuters