Vastaa aiheeseen: MM-skabat 2003
Bangkok Post kertoo syitä Thaimaalaisten poisjääntiin:
Bickering amongst officials causes Thais fighters to lose
The sixth annual Amateur Muay Thai Championships has for the first time been held without Thai fighters. Over forty countries are taking part in the mega sporting event that has attracted some six hundred participants. The overall winners will take home the coveted King’s Cup, which was won by Thailand for the past five years.
Thai athletes will not be participating because of a rift between the Amateur Muay Thai Association of Thailand (AMTAT) – which refused to allow local fighters to compete in the championships – and the International Amateur Muay Thai Federation (IAMTF), who organised the event. Last minute negotiations failed to resolve their differences.
A veteran muay Thai referee, who declined to be named, said that the country had lost face because officials couldn’t settle their differences. He said it was sad that muay Thai fighters, who have made the sport so famous, would not have the chance to win the King’s Cup. In the end, the referee was sure that everyone would have joined hands for the sake of the sport.
The feedback from overseas competitors was one of shear disappointment. The athletes unanimously felt that the Thai squad should have been given an opportunity to be involved. “Internal rifts should be settled outside of the ring,” said one English fighter, who didn’t want to be named.
Vice President from the I.A.M.T.F, Somwong Srisomwong said that he was surprised that AMTAT didn’t give the green light for the local fighters to compete. Mr Somwong said that the IOC (International Olympic Committee) is more than happy to give Muay Thai a chance to be included as one of the Olympic events but only if both local muay thai bodies can join hands.
The top official regretted the fact that Thailand didn’t get the opportunity to retain its overall winner’s title this year. “Its shameful, but what can we do,” said a saddened Mr Somwong. “Part of the reason we stage this meeting is to evaluate just how well the overseas competitors have improved. Asked why both organizations couldn’t reach a compromise, Mr Somwong said that the underlining problem was one of pride. However, Mr Somwong feels the I.A.M.T.F is more than willing to join hands with AMTAT to take the national Thai sport to the Olympic level.
Through muay Thai, Thai culture has been promoted to over ninety-five countries around the world. This has been a great accomplishment and to continue making progress the Vice President wants to see a better understanding between both sporting parties. Mr Somwong declined to mention how the rift between I.A.M.T.F and AMTAT started.
Mr Somwong said that many foreigners learn the sport for health reasons while in Thailand it’s more to build professional boxers to feed the lucrative business. In Manchester, England, one muay thai club alone will have up to three thousand members.
Let’s hope the skirmishes outside the ring will not continue to disrupt the chances of the Thai fighters in the ring.