Sunday, June 19, 2011

Makudi re-elected as FAT president

By Kitinan Sanguansak - AFF Thai correspondent

Makudi celebrates his re-election on Friday
Worawi Makudi pledged to lead a reform of the national setup following a landslide victory to win his third successive term as president of the Football Association of Thailand.

A close eye has been kept on the presidential election after it was controversially postponed last month, heightening the prospect of major structural change at the Association after the Thai team’s recent miserable run of results.

Worawi, despite being the target of public criticism for Thailand’s poor form, retained his post with relative ease in the rescheduled poll held yesterday at the National Football Training Centre in Bangkok’s Nong Chok district, receiving 123 of the 168 votes.

The election, though, was marred by a repeat of the controversy that led to the cancellation of last month’s poll, with more than one person claiming to be the sole representative of one member club.

However, Association officials this time decided to strip the club in question of its voting rights, and proceeded with the election as scheduled. 

Of the three candidates who had put their names forward as challengers to the incumbent, only two – Virat Chanpanich, an executive member of Worawi’s administration, and Pichete Munkong, the former president of Thai Port FC – received endorsement at the meeting.

After some 20 minutes of polling Worawi was declared the winner with almost triple the number of votes cast for his nearest rival, Virat (44), while Pichete picked up only one. 

Worawi quickly outlined his plan for his third two-year term in office, with reform of the national team as one of the priorities.

“I would like to thank all clubs, whether they voted for me or not. From now on, I’ll dedicate myself totally to the work, however tough it is. An overhaul of the national team management will be a priority of my policy.

“I’m open to constructive suggestions from anyone, either the fans or the media. However, each decision needs to be made by the [FAT’ s] executive board. I will take time to find well qualified people to become members of the new board,” said Worawi, who also sits on FIFA’s executive committee.

Regarding the more pressing issue of finding a new national coach, following the resignation of former England and Manchester United captain Bryan Robson, Worawi has yet to set a deadline for a new appointment. 

“At the moment, we are not able to make any decision with regards to Robson’s successor. After I complete my FIFA commitments at the Women’s World Cup in Germany, we should get a better idea of who will be the new coach. 

“So far, several foreign coaches have expressed an interest in the job. However, I have yet to decide whether the next coach will be a local or foreigner,” said Worawi.


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