A Senate committee on sports alleged last week that three highranking officials at the FAT took bribes and unilaterally appointed a referee for a Thailand Premier League match.
Criticism started to pour in from different quarters when the FAT failed to react to the allegation. Worapong, who oversees the organisation's antigraft measures, said the association was serious about fighting corruption, and denied ignoring claims.
"We've always taken things seriously when it comes to stamping out corruption from the game. We sent our officials to inspect as many games as possible, from Division One to the topflight TPL. We keep a close eye on people, and referees in particular."
Worapong insisted that anyone found guilty in relation to the Senate committee's allegations would face severe punishment.
"Board members were quick to discuss the matter after the allegation emerged. We have already started an investigation. If there is concrete evidence on the bribes issue, punishment will follow regardless of the position the miscreant holds."
Sources inside the organisation said the association is likely to suspend the three officials in question pending investigation. The Senate committee claimed the names of the three begin with "P".
My note: The referee in the Buriram PEA Vs Muangthong United match was named Porached Wongkamdee.
Regardless of the outcome here, it's good news that this report is now public. One of the greatest weapons against corruption is public exposure. It makes it far harder to commit the same crime when suspicious eyes are watching.