Thailand, Cambodia brawl over kickboxing occasion identify at SEA Video games

Thailand will boycott a kickboxing occasion on the upcoming Southeast Asian Video games in Cambodia, officers confirmed Tuesday, in a bitter row with the hosts over what to name the game: Muay Thai or Kun Khmer.

Thai officers are indignant at plans by Cambodia to discuss with the occasion — which they regard as their nationwide sport — on the official programme as Kun Khmer as an alternative of Muay Thai.

Whereas the identify Muay Thai could also be higher recognized all over the world, Cambodian officers insist the game originated from their Khmer tradition.

The occasion is one in every of a sequence of fight sports activities on the 11-country regional video games, alongside common kickboxing, karate, taekwondo, kun bokator and vovinam.

The video games are resulting from get underway in Might, with Cambodia internet hosting for the primary time in 60 years.

Charoen Wattanasin, vice-chairman of the Nationwide Olympic Committee of Thailand, mentioned the Worldwide Olympic Committee had not endorsed the time period Kun Khmer.

“They’re violating worldwide laws for sports activities competitions,” he advised AFP.

“The Thai Boxing Affiliation will not be sending athletes to compete.”

Cambodian sports activities officers are refusing to again down.

“We’re the host nation so now we have the precise to vary it to Kun Khmer as the game has its origin in Khmer and it’s our tradition,” Vath Chamroeun, secretary-general of the Cambodian Southeast Asian Video games Organising Committee, advised AFP.

“We now have to fulfill our folks.”

He mentioned Cambodia would retaliate and never ship fighters to Thailand when it hosts the 2025 video games. The game shall be referred to as Muay Thai at that occasion.

The 2 kingdoms have repeatedly clashed over their cultural heritage, with 2011 seeing a number of months of bloody army battle over a disputed temple on the border.

Cambodia finally received that dispute when the UN’s high court docket dominated in its favour.

Muay Thai secured Olympic recognition as a sport in 2021 — however its pathway to the Olympic video games is unsure due to security issues.

It permits some strikes which are banned in different types of kickboxing, corresponding to elbow- and knee-strikes.


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