Defiant Thai football boss defends AFC bid

Thailand's controversial football chief Worawi Makudi said he had no fear that his bid to lead the Asian game would be hurt by past graft allegations -- none of which were proven.

Worawi, who will contest the May election for the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) presidency, was cleared of allegations of corruption including claims by former English FA chairman Lord Triesman implicating him in a bribery scandal.

He said a series of inquiries had proved his innocence and left him free to prepare his campaign to lead the AFC, which is seeking a replacement for its scandal-hit former boss Mohamed bin Hammam.

"I've cleared my name so I'm not afraid," a defiant Worawi -- who is a powerful figure in Asian football -- told AFP. "But if people try to bring cases back, I'll respond very strongly, with legal action."

In September Worawi denied fraud allegations made by a South Korean firm in connection with the early cancellation of a multi-million-dollar deal for broadcast rights to Thai football.

Worawi, 61, was cleared in 2011 of accusations that funds meant for the Thai FA to build facilities were instead spent on building assets on land he owned in Bangkok.

He was also previously accused by Lord Triesman of involvement in a scandal concerning bribes for officials from world governing body FIFA in return for backing England's World Cup bid.

The 46-member AFC will elect a new leader on May 2, trying to draw a line under two years of allegations of wrongdoing including bribery by bin Hammam. The Qatari denies the claim.

FIFA executive committee member Worawi faces three rivals: Hafez Ibrahim al-Medlej of Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Salman bin Ibrahim al-Khalifa of Bahrain and Yousuf al-Serkal of the United Arab Emirates.

But he is a strong candidate after securing the unanimous support of Southeast Asia's football bodies.

"I have a lot of respect for every candidate... I can't underestimate anybody in this race," he said, restating his desire to unite member nations over "Asia's football development and not non-football related issues".

The AFC's current caretaker chief Zhang Jilong of China last week disappointed many observers by revealing he would not contest the election, having earned plaudits for pushing for a new era of "transparency" during his tenure.

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Fight vs online libel goes to the UNHCR Ederic Eder, Yahoo! Southeast Asia - The Inbox
    Fight vs online libel goes to the UNHCR

    Commentary By Ellen T. Tordesillas Last Tuesday, while in Baguio City for their summer session, the Supreme Court denied all the Motions for Reconsideration on Online Libel which it upheld in its Feb. 18, 2014 decision. It will be recalled … Continue reading → …

  • Book chronicles efforts for PWD-friendly polls VERA Files - The Inbox
    Book chronicles efforts for PWD-friendly polls

    By Melissa Luz Lopez, VERA Files A lot have been done but much still need to be done for a hassle-free  participation of  Persons with Disabilities in elections,according to a book published by The Asia Foundation (TAF) and supported by … Continue reading → …

  • The other side of Palawan Ellen Tordesillas, Contributor - The Inbox
    The other side of Palawan

    By Ellen T. Tordesillas Mention Palawan and what comes to mind are Underground River and El Nido in the northern side of this richly-blessed province from its capital, Puerto Princesa. Three weeks ago, we went to the southern side- in … Continue reading → …

POLL
Loading...
Poll Choice Options