Worawi Makudi

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Worawi not looking at return after ban revoked by CAS

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BANGKOK (AP) Former FIFA executive Worawi Makudi is focusing on Thailand’s general election next month rather than a return to football after he overturned a ban from football for unproven forgery.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport on Monday revoked a 3 1/2-year ban imposed by FIFA for alleged wrongdoing during a Football Association of Thailand election.

Worawi, the Thailand football president from 2007-15, has entered politics and is No. 3 on the party list of Prachachart Party in the March 24 election.

“I feel delighted and thankful for the justice the Court of Arbitration for Sport has given me,” the 67-year-old Worawi said on Tuesday.

He added any involvement in sport, for now, would be dictated by the policies of his party. He was in no hurry to return to Thai football.

“Actually, I’m always ready and willing to work in the area of sports for the community at large. But I haven’t thought about running for the presidency of the Football Association of Thailand yet.”

Worawi was accused of altering Thai soccer statutes before his 2013 presidential re-election campaign. He was a FIFA executive committee member for 18 years until being voted out by Asian member federations in 2015.

CAS reduced Worawi’s punishment to a reprimand and a fine of 5,000 Swiss francs ($5,000) for failing to cooperate with FIFA investigators.

Asked if CAS’ decision will benefit him in the general election, Worawi said: “I believe people will understand things that have happened to me. But the most important thing is I have proved my innocence from the decision of the CAS and Thai Appeal Court.”

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Former FIFA official Makudi banned 5 years for forgery

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ZURICH (AP) Former FIFA executive committee member Worawi Makudi of Thailand was banned from soccer for five years on Tuesday for election forgery.

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The judging chamber of FIFA’s ethics committee said it found Makudi guilty of forgery and falsification of documents and refusing to cooperate with investigators. Makudi was also fined 10,000 Swiss francs ($10,100).

A longtime ally of former FIFA presidential candidate Mohamed bin Hammam of Qatar, Makudi was a member of the tainted executive committee for 18 years until Asian federations voted him out in April 2015.

Makudi is the ninth member of the 24-man ruling panel which oversaw the bidding contests for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups who has since been banned for unethical conduct by FIFA.

Four others have been indicted or are under criminal investigation in the United States or Switzerland, though they yet to be banned by the ethics committee. Some of Makudi’s former colleagues have been both banned and indicted.

Makudi’s ethics case centered on his 2013 campaign to win re-election as president of Thailand’s soccer federation (FAT).

“Makudi made alterations to the FAT Statutes without the approval of the FAT Congress,” FIFA ethics judges said, noting that the case was opened after he was convicted of forgery by a Bangkok criminal court.

FIFA’s ethics committee previously investigated Makudi in 2011 over allegations that more than $800,000 of development money from Zurich was spent on projects built on land he owned near Bangkok.

That case was closed after FIFA accepted documents showing he donated the land to the Thai soccer body.

Makudi was also questioned by FIFA investigators over accompanying Bin Hammam on a presidential campaign visit to Trinidad in May 2011. The Qatari candidate withdrew his challenge to Sepp Blatter days before the vote, while under investigation for allegedly bribing Caribbean voters.

FIFA suspends yet another ExCo member

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When will it end? Nobody knows

After suspending president Sepp Blatter, his secretary general Jerome Valcke and president of UEFA and aspiring FIFA presidential candidate Michel Platini for 90 days, FIFA’s Ethics Committee is continuing its tough stance to try and get to the bottom of the deep-rooted corruption in world soccer’s governing body.

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On Monday it was announced that Worawi Makudi, the President of The Football Association of Thailand, has been suspended for 90 days from all soccer activities.

With investigations from both the Swiss and U.S. authorities still ongoing, expect to see plenty more high-ranking FIFA officials wrapped up in theses allegations of corruption which have torn apart the governing body of world soccer since stunning dawn raids in Switzerland back on May 27, 2015.

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Below is the statement from FIFA HQ in Zurich, as the organization now seems to be methodically running through a list of potential members who have been involved in wrongdoing.

The adjudicatory chamber of the Ethics Committee, chaired by Hans-Joachim Eckert, has suspended Worawi Makudi, the President of The Football Association of Thailand and a former member of the FIFA Executive Committee, from all football activities at national and international level for 90 days. The ban is effective immediately.

The decision was taken pursuant to the FIFA Code of Ethics art. 83 par. 1, on the grounds that a breach of the Code of Ethics appears to have been committed and a decision on the main issue may not be taken early enough. This decision against Worawi Makudi followed a request from the chairman of the investigatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee, Dr Cornel Borbely. The case is now the subject of formal investigation proceedings.

There were no details of the allegations against Worawi, but he has been suspected of wrongdoing in the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bids in the past. He was also given a suspended jail sentence by the Bangkok criminal court after being found guilty of forging his re-election as head of the Thai FA back in 2013.

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Worawi was a member of FIFA’s Executive Committee until May, but has followed in the footsteps of many of his close associates who have been suspended from FIFA. Expect many more cases like this to follow as information gathered by both the U.S. and Swiss authorities is used to try and clean up world soccer’s governing body for good. Based on the incidents so far, this could take a long, long time.