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Muay Thai included in SEA Games : On August 24, 2005
Muay Thai will be included in the inaugural Asian Indoor Games and the 23rd SEA Games in the Philippines. Confirming the news, Sports Authority of Thailand (SAT) governor Santiparb Tejavanija said the executive committee of the World Muay Thai Council consisting of delegates from 60 countries met yesterday and decided to take the Thai fighting art onto the world stage.
Santiparb said the World Muay Thai Council (WMC), with full backing from the Thai government, will promote the sport.
"The main purpose of the council is to popularise Muay Thai worldwide and I can say the Thai government will support it in every way," he said.
The first Asian Indoor Games will be held in Bangkok in November.
International Olympic Committee member Nat Indrapana has tried to push Muay Thai into the Olympics through the Olympics Movement programme but has not succeeded so far.
Meanwhile, the General Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF) will include the International Federation of Muay Thai Amateur (IFMA) as a member at its 2006 meeting in South Korea.
At the GAISF meeting last year in Berlin, the IFMA did not get approval as the GAISF felt the Muay Thai body did not meet its standards.
The IFMA was officially established in 1990 and has 110 member countries, while the WMC was set up in 1995 under the directive of the Thai government and sanctioned by SAT.
The primary aim of both organisations is to unite the world federations, gyms and promoters under one umbrella in order to promote Muay Thai as a safe ring sport and a martial art with a long and proud tradition.
In a related development, Dr Sakchye Tapsuwan, general-secretary of WMC and the president of IFMA, said the "Muay Thai Against Drugs" campaign will be held at the Thepprasit Ring in Pattaya on August 27, in conjunction with WMC and IFMA.
The WMC executive committee meeting started yesterday and continues at The Grand Hotel until tomorrow from 10am to 4.30pm.
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