The President of the Muay Lao Federation, Mr. Saysamone Sayasone, released a video on Sunday apologizing for his comments comparing the Cambodian Kun Khmer martial art sport with Muay Thai that sparked controversy among Thai and Lao citizens.
In his apology video, the Muay Lao President expressed regret for his inappropriate behavior, took full responsibility for his actions, and apologized to all relevant parties and those impacted by his comments.
“I have used inappropriate language and I deeply apologize for my behavior,” said Mr. Saysamone.
“I take full responsibility for my actions and any negative impact they may have had. I regret any confusion or inconvenience this may have caused the International Muay Thai Federation and its affiliated organizations, both in Thailand and Laos. I offer my sincere apologies to all relevant parties for my lack of decorum and any misunderstandings that may have arisen.”
However, the apology was not well-received by some who are still demanding his resignation.
“It’s too late. We don’t need your apology because we will never forgive you,” said a Thai social media user.
“Why don’t you just resign to show responsibility for your actions? You are responsible for many Lao citizens having suffered in both labor and tourism sectors for what you said,” commented another social media user.
Mr. Saysamone’s controversial remarks were made in March when he criticized the International Federation of Muay Thai Associations (IFMA) stating that Muay Thai was a copy of Kun Khmer while many believe that the kickboxing martial art originated from Thailand.
Thai social media users have been particularly vocal about their displeasure with Mr. Saysamone’s comments, causing some Lao social media users to publicly distance themselves from the Muay Lao President’s remarks.
The IFMA had previously threatened to boycott the SEA Games 2023 over Cambodia’s decision to rename the kickboxing event from Muay Thai to Kun Khmer.