Football: Thai sports authority backs FA president Worawi in election delay

BANGKOK (REUTERS) - Worawi Makudi's bid to retain control of Thai soccer received a boost on Tuesday, with the country's sports authority (SAT) blocking attempts by upset members to force presidential elections.

Worawi's term as Thai Football Association (FAT) president ended on June 16 but he cancelled the vote scheduled for that day after failing to implement controversial Fifa-backed reforms, which included slashing the number of eligible voters by more than half to 72.

Worawi, 61, had set September 23 as the new election date, which angered 108 of the 179 Thai FA members, who signed a petition demanding the election took place on Friday in line with Thai sports law or they would hold it themselves in early August.

However, the SAT told Reuters on Tuesday that the reform vote took priority, but added they had proposed some revisions to the Fifa amendments.

"We agree with the FAT and with Fifa, conforming to international sports regulations is a good thing," SAT official Somporn Chaisongkhram told Reuters.

"The SAT believes that the Football Association of Thailand needs to go back and revise the changes it intends to make to the charter.

"It needs to make sure that the changes needed by Fifa comply with Thai law."

Fifa executive committee member Worawi, who will stand against soccer fan Pinit Ngarmpring and former national team manager Virach Charnpanich, has successfully defended himself against allegations of corruption during his lengthy soccer administration career, which he has no intention of ending.