Cambodia and Thailand Fight Over "Muay Thai"

Muay Thai
Saturday marked the 100 day countdown until the 2023 Southeast Asian Games open in Cambodia but a bitter dispute
between the host country and its neighbor, Thailand, over what to call the local style kickboxing competition still looms over the event threatening to mar it. Cambodia previously announced they would be calling the competition by it's local name of "kun Khmer," rather than the better known "muay Thai." This prompted Thai officials to threaten to boycott the matches.

On Thursday, Cambodian officials seemed to indicate the dispute had been settled and fighters from Thailand would be competing in the kun Khmer fights. But no official word appears to have come down from Thailand's sporting authorities on their participation. As of Saturday, Sakchye Tapsuwan, president of both the International Muaythai Association, which is affiliated with the International Olympic Committee, and The Amateur Muaythai Association of Thailand, indicated the boycott would still take place.

Similar kickboxing styles are native to several countries in Southeast Asia with each claiming theirs is the source the others sprang from. Along with Cambodia, Myanmar and Laos also refuse to recognize muay Thai as being the legitimate name of the sport, despite IOC recognition of the title.

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