11 July 2024

Muay Thai, the popular kickboxing martial art and combat sport, regarded as Thailand’s national sport, will be a competitive event at the European Games, in Kraków, Poland in June 2023, after approval from the European Olympic Committees (EOC), according to the International Federation of Muay Thai Associations (IFMA).

“It is wonderful news that the EOC has included Muay Thai in the games, considering that it is a fast-growing sport in terms of both athletes and spectators,” said Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Tuesday.

“It is delightful that Muay Thai has become a very popular sport both in Thailand and internationally,” he added.

According to the prime minister, the Tourism and Sports Ministry has been working with relevant agencies to lobby for the martial art to be recognized at the Olympic Games. The sport has had provisional Olympic status since 2016.

Muay Thai dates back centuries and grew in popularity worldwide during the late 20th century. The IFMA, which is recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as the world governing body for the sport, has 146 National Federation members.

The European Games 2023 will be the third, and is held every four years. 50 European countries will be participating.