Global news

Thailand escape FIFA punishment

June 24, 2013
By ESPN staff

Thailand avoided punishment from FIFA after a Thai fourth-tier club withdrew its lawsuit to prevent the nation's Football Association (FAT) from pushing through controversial electoral reforms.

PA PhotosPattaya FC agreed to drop their case

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Pattaya FC opted to file a case against the FAT's decision to introduce FIFA-backed reform that would slash the number of eligible voters for the governing body's presidential elections from around 180 to 72.

As a result, FAT chief and FIFA executive committee member Worawi Makudi was forced to postpone the elections indefinitely due to a court injunction.

Thailand were threatened with a potential suspension should Pattaya not drop the case by Monday, which Worawi claimed would endanger upcoming tours to the country by Barcelona, Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea.

However, the FAT chief confirmed to Reuters on Monday that Pattaya have indeed dropped their claim.

"Pattaya has gracefully agreed to abide by the FIFA directive and has withdrawn the case from the court," Worawi told Reuters. "The matter is hereby resolved."

Worawi, who failed to become Asian Football Confederation president in May, was hoping to introduce the reforms prior to the election, just before his latest term was due to end.

Some claimed it was a ploy by Worawi to retain his seat, although he defended his action, saying the reforms were a FIFA requirement.