ERICK Thohir has been forced to step down as a director of Oxford United.

His appointment as Indonesia’s 'State-owned Enterprises Minister', means the businessman is obliged to resign any board positions from businesses he is involved with.

However, the Oxford Mail understands he will still have an input with the U’s.

Thohir will lead the expansion of Indonesian state-owned companies as part of President Joko Widodo's new cabinet.

United chairman Sumrith 'Tiger' Thanakarnjanasuth ‘reluctantly accepted his resignation’, but congratulated the former Inter Milan president on his new role.

“Oxford United is a very special football club and it was tough to write the resignation letter, especially with the team doing so well,” said Thohir.

“But I am so proud to be asked to help my country and so regrettably I cannot be part of the board.

“I will still be following results and hopefully be over to watch games when my commitments allow.

“I would like to thank Tiger and the fans for making me part of the Oxford United family."

The U’s owner added: “It is a huge honour for Erick and on behalf of Oxford United we would like to congratulate him and wish him well in his new role.

“I am sure he will be a huge success, but sadly it will mean he will no longer be able to be part of the board here at the football club.

“We have reluctantly accepted his letter of resignation.”

Thohir was announced as a board member of the U’s in November.