For­mer FIFA of­fi­cial Makudi banned 5 years for forgery

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

For­mer FIFA ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee mem­ber Wo­rawi Makudi of Thai­land was banned from soc­cer for five years yes­ter­day for elec­tion forgery.

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 re­elec­tion 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.

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