The referee who was once found guilty of murder was seriously wounded last week, after being shot three times. Thanom Borikut, one of Thailand's most controversial on-field referees was shot and seriously wounded by an unknown assailant outside Sport Authority of Thailand (SAT) early Wednesday morning.
A former commando and school teacher, Borikut became a FIFA-certified professional referee, who was well-known for his controversial decisions in the Thai Premier League (TPL) and long rumoured to be an inclusion by match-fixing figures. Borikut was pre-selected by FIFA for the 2010 World Cup as an assistant referee in Mohd Salleh’s trio. He missed out on the World Cup because he was arrested in November 2009 for having killed his boss, the director of the education department where he worked. Thanom was seen on camera, planting a bomb which later went off and killed the director. Borikut later said he was mad at his boss because he "did not give him fair treatment and often barred him from officiating overseas as a FIFA referee". Earning the nickname 'Bomberman', Borikut mysteriously turned up to officiate in the TPL in the 2011 season and was also a security enforcer for the Football Association of Thailand (FAT) at their meetings. Annop Singhtothong, Chonburi FC Vice President and Newin Chidchob of Buriram United, were hopeful that the shooting was not football related, but a result of Barikut's own personal matters. “Too many people have issues with him, so this could be a personal matter”, said Newin. “We all know where his nickname came from; personal matters, which has totally nothing to do with football. I really have no idea why this happened, but all of us in the football scene knew it well what kind of person Thanom is”, Annop added. Meanwhile, Bangkok police chief, Pol. Lt. Gen. Khamronwit Thoopkrachang, is confident that the authorities can take care of the matter swiftly, but was also in shock that Borikut was not in jail having personally arrested him back in 2009.