Thai football refs swear a fixing oath to Buddha

DUNCAN JOHNSTONE
Last updated 10:48 30/07/2014
Buddha
Creative Commons
OATH OF HONESTY: The Emerald Buddha is a traditional spot for Thais to make vows.

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Thailand football bosses have made more than 100 referees swear an oath of honesty at a famous Bangkok temple as they try to stamp out the country's match-fixing problems.

The move by the Football Association of Thailand follows previous attempts to overcome allegations of corruption in their domestic league that included using lie detectors.

"We have performed ... and will perform our duty with honesty," the match officials said in their oaths in front of the Emerald Buddah, according to the Bangkok Post.

Thanom Borikut, a referee who has been suspended following several controversial decisions, led the referees delegation.

The Thailand Football Association was represented by vice-president Chinnasen Thongkomol, who is also chief of the referee committee.

He said: "From now on we hope that every football club will have more trust in referees and accept their decisions."

Borikut told the paper the gesture showed referees were honest, "but we only have two eyes so it is not likely that everybody will make a correct decision."

The Emerald Buddha is a traditional spot for Thais to make vows.

Dusit Chalermsan, coach of the Singhtarua team, welcomed the move.

"I hope Thai football will become better after they took oath before the Emerald Buddha," he said.

Thai news agency, The Nation, reported the oath read: "I, [first name and surname], take the oath that we have always performed the duty as a referee with honesty and integrity, and I give my pledge that I will always perform the duty as a referee with honesty and integrity to preserve the honour and prestige of football referees and of the Football Association of Thailand."

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