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Shahar Peer

How is the Israeli tennis player who is all set to play in the UAE, linked to a ‘shamed’ athlete who said that he loves Dubai? And where does Abu Dhabi’s most popular business personality fit in?

February 15, 2010 2:12 by

Thaksin Shinawatra

The ex-Prime Minister of Thailand, Shinawatra’s company, UK Sports Investments Limited, bought Manchester City in 2007, but sold it to the Abu Dhabi United Group in September 2008 after his funds in Thailand were frozen by Thai courts as he faced corruption charges. In February last year, Shinawatra was also dismissed from his position as the ­honorary club president after he was convicted of the corruption charges in Thailand.

Shinawatra, who began his career as a policeman, went on to work in the telecoms sector, before founding the Thai Rak Thai political party in 1998. He became Thailand’s Prime Minister in 2001, but in September 2006, a military coup ousted him after he was accused of not paying taxes. Shinawatra and his wife fled Thailand in 2008, to avoid a two-year jail conviction.

Currently, his supporters are planning massive protests in Bangkok, as the Supreme Court is set to rule on February 26 on whether Shinawatra’s $2.2 billion fortune was obtained through corruption and should be seized.

Apart from connections with the football world, Shinawatra is also an enthusiastic golfer, and few years back played host to the world’s top golf player…


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