AFTER Cambodia changed the name of kickboxing from Muay Thai to Kun Khmer at the 32nd SEA Games which angered Thai sport committees the Kun Khmer International Federation (KKIF) announced today (Feb. 21) that seven countries will be joining these matches, Naewna newspaper said.
Thailand was watching to see whether a minimum of four countries, including Cambodia, would join the Kun Khmer event as otherwise it would have to be cancelled.
As it turns out seven countries, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines and Vietnam, will be sending boxers to join in the Kun Khmer matches.
It now remains to be seen whether the International Federation of Muaythai Associations (IFMA) will punish countries that are participating in the Kun Khmer event at upcoming SEA Games as has been threatened.
However Cambodia, Myanmar and Laos are not members of IFMA.
According to the Phnom Penh Post, in a little over a week KKIF has accepted membership requests from 20 new nations, in addition to the existing 29. The sudden influx of international recognition stems from the country’s successful introduction of Kun Khmer to the 32nd SEA Games
According to Khmer Times, using the word Kun Khmer serves as an honour for Cambodia as the host of the games.
Thirty-seven sports and a demonstration sport have been officially listed for the SEA Games 2023 and another 13 for the 12th Asean Para Games.
Cambodia will host the 32nd SEA Games and the 12th Asean Para Games from May 5 to 17, 2023 and from Jun. 1 to 10, 2023 respectively, under the motto “Sport: Live in Peace”.
Muay Thai matches. Photos: Thai Rath