Worawi Makudi did not arrive in Kuala Lumpur until Tuesday night, leading to speculation that the Thailand Football Association president might have pulled out of the race for the Asian Football Confederation presidency. That speculation was quashed when he reached town.
"I think I am going to win this election," Makudi, right, said.
Worawi's confidence stems from the March declaration of the 11-member South East Asian (Asean) bloc to unanimously support his candidature. A few of those countries seem to be looking at other candidates now and, according to some media reports, the Asean member associations could vote individually, according to their best judgement.
Worawi, however, remains confident. "My friends will always be with me," the 62 year old said. "I am very sure about that. Beyond Asean, I have travelled and spoken with a lot of member associations. I shared my hopes and aspirations and they liked what I had to say."
He offers no assurances, however, that the vote will turn out in his favour. "I cannot underestimate anybody," he said. "I cannot be overconfident. I only give a lot of respect to everybody in the race."
Countries such as Australia, Japan and China could also back the Thai, since a few member associations may not be so keen to see another president from West Asia. For them, Makudi could be the compromise candidate. "My main target as the AFC president would be to bring everybody together and to unite the Asian football family," he said.
Name Worawi Makudi
Right Choice for AFC President
Official positions held
Thailand Football Association secretary general (1996-2007)
Thailand Football Association president (since 2007)
AFC executive committee member (since 1997)
Fifa executive member (since 1997)
Asean Football Federation member
To increase AFC representatives in the Fifa executive committee.
To restructure revenue distribution to member associations.
To invest in grass-roots programmes for both male and female players.
To establish an Asian Football College offering degrees in relevant subjects and courses for football-related programmes.
To restructure the AFC Champions League and allow increased participation for member associations clubs.
At the ballots
Claims to have the full backing of the 11 Southeast Asian member associations; could have the votes of China and Japan, as well.