Thailand face two elections in football

Thai Association News
Sisaket FC Esan United The dispute over the next FAT presidency election is still not settled. Thailand now is not only in danger to be banned by the world governing body FIFA, after latest developments Thailand may even face two elections.

Lead by presidential candidate Virach Chanpanich and Chonburi FC Vice president Annop Singtothong, the opposition met with SAT governor  Kanokphand Chulakasem on Tuesday morning. Their concern: To get the legitimisation from the SAT to hold the Thai FA election as soon as possible and independently. Backed by 108 members, the opposition owns the necessary majority to call up a meeting and to stage the election of the next president.

Worawi Makudis third term of office ended officially on 16 June. If the current organisation or board is not in the situation to carry out a new election within 21 days, the associations have the right to organise a new election after a period of 30 days. The fact that the election is not been held yet under the old chairmanship, is because of the statutes which should be changed if it goes after FIFA.

In the centre of the controversy is the reduction of the members eligible to vote from 180 to 72. For it, Makudi called for a meeting on 16 June where all members should have vote on. In consideration of the composition of the 72 associations, the opposition only see a ploy Worawi's in it to help him to win another term of office.

Amateur side Pattaya FC filed a lawsuit against the meeting and it had to be called off. In the aftermath the incumbent president announced new dates. A FIFA representative is expected to visit Thailand again on 8 August for a Q&A round to explain to the clubs why the proposal from FIFA to amend FAT statue is necessary. If it goes to Worawi, one day later all parties have to vote on the revised charter and he has set the date for the presidential election on 23 September.

Now, the 30-days regulation has been expired on 1 August, and the SAT gave green light to the opponents of Worawi after two hours of discussion. With a 7-day preterm they now want to invite all members of the organisation to elect the future president on 8 August. However, only one day later the SAT added fuel to the hopes of FIFA executive committee member Worawi Makdui, to retain his reign. 

If the SAT has put itself behind the opposition a day before, she acted the same way in the other direction one day later. The institution agreed with the presented proposal in general, to bring them in line with FIFA. The reform vote takes priority but some revisions had to be made to the FAT amendments said Somporn Chaisongkhram. "The SAT believes that the Football Association of Thailand needs to go back and revise the changes it intends to make to the charter. It needs to make sure that the changes needed by Fifa comply with Thai law." Which points this are exact, however, was not named.

But the following point could be one which the Local administration of Department (LAD) addressed in a letter earlier to the SAT and expressed as follow: The revised regulations state that "a court of law is a court of the state which listens to the public and solves legal conflict" may contradict the Constitution which says there are three courts: the lower court, the appeals court and the supreme court.

However, Worawi Makudi obviously was contented: "The SAT has officially informed the FAT that they agree with the adoption of FIFA statutes which will be conducted during an extraordinary general meeting on 9 August and to proceed with the FAT election by 30 September," he told Reuters on Tuesday. "Football is governed by the world body, FIFA, and it is imperative that FAT, as members of FIFA, follow the rules, regulations and statutes as laid out by them." The 62-year old also could not resist to come out with a statement Sepp Blatter surely couldn't have said any better and leaving certain journalist with an raised eyebrow: "I have always only wanted to do the right thing for Thailand and Thailand football. No one is above the game. It has never ever been about me, or any other individual."

However, also for the change of the statutes, Worawi needs the majority of the 180 members and this seems rather unlikely. Unless, he carries out  his threat and excludes 108 opposing clubs from the FA. Meanwhile Annop Singtothong informed that the preparations for the 8 August go on unhindered.

So Thailand is to face two elections to the presidency of the football association, a ban by FIFA - if the first election should take place without the required changed statutes - and the question which of both elections at the end are officially recognised by the local authorities. Not to mention any possible civil disputs.

By the way. Newin Chidchob who is supporting candidate Virach Chanpanich is remarkably refraining at the moment on this topic. Maybe because he suddenly sees himself in a dilemma. Though with pleasure he would have his man on the chair of the president instead of Worawi, but if Thailand should be banned by FIFA, his club  probably would be the first to be hit by it. Because an exclusion of Buriram United of the AFC Champions League quarter finals impends.
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