11 July 2024

Eleven Moo Pa Academy football players and their coach Ekapol Chanthawong were ordained on Wednesday at Wat Phra That Doi Tung in Chiang Rai in a ceremony attended by a large crowd and covered live by many TV channels.

The 11 young footballers were ordained as novices while their coach Ekapol as a monk.

The twelve underwent a pre-ordination ceremony yesterday to have their head shaven at Wat Phra That Doi Wao in Tambon Wiang Phang Kham in Mae Sai district.

This morning they were paraded in a column from Wat Phra That Doi Wao to nearby Wat Phra That Doi Tung.

Chiang Rai governor Prajon Pratsakul and Lt Col Pak Loharnchun, a Navy SEAL doctor who spent several nights with the 13 Wild Boars in Tham Luang cave to keep them company prior to their rescue, also joined the ceremony.


At Wat Phra That Doi Tung, they lined up before the portrait of Lieutenant Commander Saman Gunan, a former navy SEAL member who died in the rescue operation, to pay respects. Saman’s wife was also in attendance.

The 12 will spend one night at Wat Phra That Doi Tung before returning to Wat Phra That Doi Wao on July 26 and will stay there until they leave monkhood.

One member of the football team did not take part in the Buddhist ceremony as he is a Muslim.