By Lerpong Amsa-ngiam
The football chief addressed reporters at the Sports Authority of Thailand to announce the closure of the Nong Chok National Football Centre on the outskirts of Bangkok.
“There have been attempts to take me out of the presidential post. As long as I remain in power, there will be more lawsuits [against his opponents],” said Somyot.
“As a result, I take this opportunity to insist that no matter what will happen in Thai football, big or small, that may lead to rising pressure to make me leave my position, I will not give up my position.
“I will remain in charge until all problems are solved as I’m not certain that anyone who will succeed me will stand up and fight (to solve problems),” he added.
Somyot won the FAT presidential election in February in 2016 and caused a huge stir in Thai football when he cooperated with the Royal Thai Police and Sportradar, a Swiss sports data company, to crack down on match-fixing in the Thai League in November last year.
Players and officials have been found to be linked with manipulating results in the country’s top flight and Somyot earlier this year threatened to reveal more names to police of those involved in match-fixing.
Somyot also hinted he may enter a new arena soon, presumably in politics, with the General Election expected early next year, but promised to never leave the FAT office.
“As long as FAT club members still have trust in me, I will never give up this position. Come rain or shine,” he said.
In terms of the Football Centre, built with a US$1 million-plus budget and used for Fifa’s Futsal World Cup in 2012, Somyot claimed it was inaccessible because the road to the venue, which belongs to an individual, was closed.
The High Performance Training Centre at in Thawi Watthana district in Bangkok, has been used as the FAT training centre since April 2017.