Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Thailand may benefit from President's connections

The Bangkok Post review of the election of veteran Secretary General Worawi Makudi as the new President of the Football Association of Thailand focussed on his connections with international football supremo FIFA President Sepp Blatter and international identity Franz Beckenbauer. It also noted that "Worawi is a Muslim and studied in Kuwait so he is close to top football officials in Middle Eastern countries - the most powerful group in Asian football." It should therefore be easier, the newspaper opined, for Thailand "to get foreign support in terms of personnel and financial assistance" and Worawi, himself, "could become a FIFA vice president and Asian Football Confederation president."

Securing a first World Cup berth for Thailand is seen as a priority for the new President. After being elected Worawi vowed to take Thailand to appear in the 2014 World Cup and said he will map out a development plan for Thailand to reach the goal. As a FIFA executive member, he is also being pressured to "push for increased World Cup slots for Asia as the continent appears to lose one spot to Australia".

According to the Bangkok Post, "it is much tougher for Thailand to take part in the World Cup now that Australia have joined the AFC, who were seemingly accepted due to political reasons". The newspaper will probably be even more annoyed when Australia bundles the Thai team out of the group stage of the AFC Asian Cup being played in Bangkok in July.

No comments: