Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Interview with Pipat Waramethpipat

I introduced Pipat recently and today he kindly spent some time answering my questions about Muangthong United  and the Thai fans' protest against Thai FA president Worawi Makudi.

How long have you supported MTU?
More than two years now. I was already supporting them when they won Division One and  I wanted to help fans prepare for the first year in the TPL.

And how did you become leader of the fan club?
Actually I'm not the leader, though some fans do call me so. I share ideas with the fans both old and new and I try to act as a communication point.

How did you become leader of the protests against Worawi?
It started in Laos when Thailand played there and had a bad result. At this game, some of us Thai fans were talking and we decided we'd like to share our ideas with the Thai FA. After this we had another poor performance so we decided to go ahead with our plans.

The staff at the Thai FA could be considered Phuu-Yai (big, rich or important people). Did you feel nervous about meeting or protesting against them?

Not really, because I work for an international company and I have experience of the international style of dealing with things that is: if there is a problem, we should talk about the problem to solve it. I want to be very clear that I fully respect the staff  but I want us to talk about problems with the Thai team to make things better.

I also saw a lot of cameras, reporters and microphones in your face. Did you have experience of dealing with that or was it new to you?
That was a new experience. But again I have experience with communication so I think that helped me.

Do you think Worawi should resign?
Actually he can't resign because he is a FIFA member and if he resigns, he automatically loses that spot. What we want is a new direction and approach from the TFA.

Will the protests continue?
Yes. This month we are forming the Thai Football Supporters Association. The plan is to be a 'middle person' with the TFA. We can share ideas, experiences and problems between the TFA and the fans.

The first meeting is tomrrow Deecember 5th at 8pm in the Thai Restaurant next to National Stadium BTS Station.

Finally, who do you think will win the Thai Premier League next season?
For sure, Muangthong! But I think the standard will be higher than ever and competition will be good. I want to be clear that although I am involved with the MTU fanclub and the Thai fans' protest, it doesn't automatically mean I representing all Muangthong fans in the Worwai protests, I'm just expressing my own opinion.


Thanks to Pipat for his time and permission to use his photos. He has also kindly offered to keep us informed of future developments. Like all the team at MTU, Pipat is always willing to chat and offer support.

As always, this interview has been slightly paraphrased for conciseness. Any errors are wholly my own.

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