Worawi aims kick at corruption claims

sports September 20, 2012 00:00

By The Nation

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Embattled Football Association of Thailand (FAT) president Worawi Makudi has responded to a flurry of allegations made against him by insisting he has not received due credit for the things he has done for Thai football.



Last week Worawi appeared before a parliamentary committee investigating allegations that the FAT set up a Thai Premier League company as a profitmaking arm. Under Thai law, sport associations are barred from making profits. If the FAT is found guilty, the association will be disbanded.

This is the latest of a series of allegations levelled against Worawi in his second term as the head of the organisation. After his plight became a hotlydebated issue among the public and online community, the FAT boss decided to call a press conference yesterday to try to clear his name. 
Last year Worawi was accused of misusing money from football development grants by using it for projects on land he owns. But Fifa was eventually cleared him of any wrongdoing. Then, fresh doubts over the ownership of the plot prompted the Thai FA president to present the title deeds to the media in a bid to clear his name.
“There’s an allegation that the land was mortgaged with a bank. That’s why I want to show you the title deeds. If it had been mortgaged, I would not have been able to present the deeds to you today. I also want to make clear again that I have already donated the plot to the FAT. I don’t know why certain people are flinging allegations at me,” said Worawi.
Worawi also insisted that the FAT had done nothing wrong in setting up the Thai Premier League company.
“It damages us to suggest that the FAT could be disbanded, because we didn’t do anything illegal. There are clear rules that regulate the income of the association. We need to seek income because we have 15 to 16 teams to take care of. We need money for development. I think there’s nothing wrong with this. So, what’s the point of make so much out of it,” said Worawi, who also sits on Fifa’s executive committee.

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