Worawi Makudi's supporters come to his defence after new FIFA ban
Supporters of Worawi Makudi have called for the former Football Association of Thailand (FAT) president to be given fair treatment, despite having his suspension of all football activities extended for another 90 days.
The original ban took place in October 2015 as the then-FAT president was being investigated for a breach of FIFA's ethics policy. This second extension on Monday comes after the world football governing body said that its disciplinary committee found that Worawi was still involved in FAT affairs.
He has also been fined US$3,016 for the infraction, which is in breach of Article 64 of the FIFA disciplinary code.
Former Thailand national team coach Charnwit Phalajivin said that hard evidence must be produced to follow up on any allegations against Worawi.
"People have to be fair to him," said Charnwit, who was Thailand boss from 2005 to 2008. "In the past six years, I heard about it [the accusations of corruption]. FIFA has sanctioned him but I don't know if he has been corrupt.
"I haven't worked for him in the past six years... I only hear from the news and television. In the past six years, there have been lots of court cases against him but I haven't seen anyone win."
Narinpong Jinapak is FAT's lawyer and has been Worawi's spokesman since the ban. He too argues that nothing has been proven.
"Those are just accusations," he said. "I can't say if he is good or bad, it is up to the committee. But as you see from the past, he has been developing Thai football all the time."
Local officials hope that the fate of the man who was in charge of Thai football from 2007 to 2015 -- and he was general secretary for over a decade before that -- is settled as soon as possible. Worawi has been the dominant figure in the country's soccer scene for the past two decades and also served on FIFA's powerful Executive Committee.
FIFA did not detail the original breach of ethics that caused the ban and this week did not detail exactly what football activities Worawi was supposedly involved in.
FAT may have a new president in Somyot Poompanmuong but the shadow of its former president continues to loom large over the reigning Southeast Asian champions.