By Andrew Warshaw
October 19 – Time and again he fought off his accusers and protested his innocence while other FIFA powerbrokers around him were plunged into shame. But the net has finally closed in on Thailand’s Worawi Makudi who has been banned by FIFA’s ethics committee for five years for election forgery.
Makudi, a longtime ally of disgraced former Asian football chief and one-time FIFA presidential candidate Mohamed bin Hammam, was a FIFA exco member for 18 years until being voted off by Asian federations in April 2015.
He has faced multiple allegations of wrongdoing and was found guilty in July last year by a Thai court of forgery relating to his 2013 re-election as head of his national FA and handed a suspended 16-month jail term.
FIFA’s ethics committee opened a case as a result of Makudi being ”convicted of forgery by the Southern Bangkok Criminal Court” and has now made sure he doesn’t come back for at least five years, banning him for “forgery and falsification” as well as failing to co-operate and fining him CHF10,000 in the process.
FIFA said Makudi “made alterations to the FAT statutes” without approval and while he can still take his case to the FIFA appeals committee and the Court of Arbitration for Sport, at 64 he has little hope of regaining power either domestically or on the world stage.
Makudi’s ban means that over half of the 22 FIFA officials who voted in the controversial ballot to choose the 2018 and 2022 World Cup hosts, a process under criminal investigation by the Swiss justice authorities, have now been sanctioned in some shape or form, either by FIFA’s ethics process or the US-led corruption probe.
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