FIFA's Worawi to sue over bribery claims

by AP on May 16, 2011

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FIFA executive committee member Worawi Makudi has hired lawyers to file charges against former English Football Association chief David Triesman for making bribery accusations.

Worawi, who is also head of the Football Association of Thailand, denied Triesman's accusations that he demanded the television rights to a proposed Thailand-England friendly in exchange for supporting England's bid to host the 2018 World Cup.

Worawi was one of four FIFA executives accused by Triesman of seeking forms of payment in return for supporting England's bid.

"The accusations are not true and groundless" Worawi said at a press conference on Monday.

"I have to speak out because my reputation has been tarnished and it defames my family.

"I have to take legal action to rescue my name and the honour of my family."

The Thai administrator said he intended to file charges against Triesman in a British court, and had engaged the legal firm of Watson, Farley and Williams, which has offices in London and Bangkok.

"I cannot say much, to be prudent with the legal case," Worawi said.

"I have a legal team to handle this case and they are gathering evidence. I believe I have key evidence to prove my case."

Among the evidence he cited was a statement from the English FA setting out conditions for the proposed Thailand-England friendly, a further statement from the FA expressing regret for having to cancel that friendly and a letter of thanks after the bidding process finished.

Worawi's legal team estimated it would take about a month to prepare for trial and had not detailed what redress would be sought.

He is also under challenge as chief of the Football Association of Thailand.

Postponed elections were expected to be called some time this month, though a Thai government sports body had said the elections had come too late in the year and Worawi's position was now void.