- April 26, 2023 2:03 PM
- November 24, 2022 9:32 AM
- May 29, 2022 10:02 AM
PHNOM PENH – Cambodia is seeking to expand the membership of its International Kun Khmer Federation for it to receive recognition from the Olympic movement.
Vath Chamroeun, secretary-general of the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia, spoke of the plan during a discussion on Feb 5 while drumming up support for the traditional martial art at home.
Chamroeun, also secretary-general of the Cambodian National Committee of the 32nd SEA Games 2023 (CAMSOC), said that as of now the federation has 50 members including Iran and countries in America.
“Cambodia founded the federation in 2015. Previously, we had 29 country members and this has now risen to 50 countries after they asked for membership. Our goal is at least 75 countries,”
Chamroeun said that to get recognized by the Olympic movement, a sport must have members from 75 countries.
The move came amid the strife between Cambodia and Thailand over the name of the traditional martial art. Cambodia has insisted on using Kun Khmer in the upcoming regional game instead of Muay Thai.
Thailand has since boycotted the event. Both countries have claimed that the sport was originated by their ancestors.
Chamroeun said national sports such as Kun Khmer could not be eliminated by any country because it had been rooted in Cambodian tradition for a long time.
Both Kun Khmer and Muay Thai, he said, could not become an Olympic sport since it is a tradition of one specific people. That’s why Cambodia is striving for Olympic recognition as its traditional sport.
The 32nd SEA Games will be held in May as Cambodia hosts the biennial games for the first time. Kun Khmer is included with 19 events.