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FIFA ousts Thai FA executive committee

Then Football Association of Thailand (FAT) President Worawi Makudi gestures after a news conference at the association office in Bangkok in this September 19, 2012 file photo. Reuters/Chaiwat Subprasom/Files

BANGKOK, October 17 – FIFA has removed the executive committee of Thailand’s football association from office, days after suspending its chief Worawi Makudi who is under investigation for breaching the ethical code of the sport’s ruling body.

Earlier this week Worawi, who has dominated the game in Thailand for years, was banned from all football-related activities for 90 days by FIFA’s ethics watchdog.

The 63-year-old was a FIFA executive committee member for 18 years until May — including for its 2010 vote for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups — and has faced multiple allegations of wrongdoing.

The suspension prompted the Football Association of Thailand (FAT) to postpone elections for a new chief that had been scheduled for Saturday.

In a statement published Friday FIFA’s emergency committee said it had decided “to remove” the FAT executive committee and “to appoint a normalisation committee in its place”.

The new committee’s jobs will include revising the FAT electoral code and conducting the election of a new executive committee by February, it said.

In Bangkok FAT lawyer Narinpong Jinapak told AFP Saturday that the new committee was appointed “only to supervise” the association’s postponed elections.

According to him the previous FAT committee “has not been dismissed” and “is still running day-to-day Football Association affairs”.

In July Worawi was found guilty by a Thai court of forgery in his reelection as head of FAT — a ruling he denies and is appealing.

His ban follows suspensions handed out to embattled outgoing FIFA president Sepp Blatter and European football boss Michel Platini.

Blatter won his fifth election in May, two days after US authorities charged 14 football officials and business executives over more than $150 million in bribes. But amid intense pressure over scandals engulfing the world body he announced four days later that he would stand down.