Thai soccer team's stateless boys granted citizenship

Three boys from the Wild Boar soccer team and their coach, ...

Posted: Aug 9, 2018 12:10 PM
Updated: Aug 9, 2018 12:10 PM

Three boys from the Wild Boar soccer team and their coach, who were rescued from deep within a flooded cave in Thailand last month, have been granted Thai citizenship.

In a ceremony in Chiang Rai province Wednesday, the Mae Sai district chief approved citizenship for Ardoon Sam-aon, Mongkol Boompiam, Ponchai Khamluang, and assistant coach Ekkapol Ake Chanthawong.

Asia

Citizenship and naturalization

Continents and regions

Football (Soccer)

Immigration, citizenship and displacement

International relations and national security

Southeast Asia

Sports and recreation

Thailand

The Wild Boar team attracted international attention in late June when 12 young players and their coach ventured inside a cave in northern Thailand for an afternoon excursion but found the exit blocked by rising floodwater.

The team was trapped for almost three weeks, before cave diving experts from around the world led a complex operation to bring them out on stretchers carried through narrow tunnels.

FULL COVERAGE

Ardoon, the 14-year-old soccer player who spoke English to British cave divers when they were found, was born in neighboring Myanmar, and taken into care by a local Mae Sai Grace Church group as a child.

Mae Sai sits at the very edge of the border between Thailand and Myanmar, and it's not unusual for families to cross the border to search for work or go to school. Many in Mae Sai are members of minority groups, and sit at the crossroads of the two countries.

There are 430,000 stateless people living in Thailand, according to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). People may be registered as stateless if their Thai parents cannot be found, if they come from areas where national borders have changed, or if they live in remote areas without information about nationality procedures.

The Thai government has worked to reduce statelessness in recent years — more than 27,000 stateless people have been granted Thai citizenship since 2011, according to UNHCR. Just this February, the government held a group ceremony granting citizenship to 342 stateless people, most of them students.

On Wednesday, the boys were among 30 stateless people granted Thai rights.

After the team was rescued from the cave, the officials had promised to start the process of granting the stateless boys Thai citizenship.

During the ceremony, they were handed Thai ID cards, which grants them access to public services such as healthcare and freedom of movement.

After the dramatic rescue, the team spent about a week in the hospital, where they were carefully monitored for possible infections or pneumonia. Upon their release, the team recounted their ordeal and thanked their rescuers at a press conference, wearing matching Wild Boars team shirts.

Twelve of the thirteen members then spent a week as Buddhist novices at a monastery, and are returning to normal life in their small town surrounded by friends and family.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 52037

Reported Deaths: 2762
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion12111693
Lake5677249
Elkhart366260
Allen2971134
St. Joseph221169
Hamilton1735101
Cass16489
Hendricks1470100
Johnson1351118
Porter84938
Vanderburgh8016
Tippecanoe7859
Clark71944
Madison68164
LaPorte62928
Howard61058
Bartholomew60545
Kosciusko5844
Marshall57011
Noble52428
Boone49244
LaGrange48710
Delaware48152
Jackson4793
Hancock47436
Shelby46025
Floyd41844
Monroe36128
Morgan34431
Grant32226
Dubois3196
Henry30318
Montgomery29720
Clinton2903
White27810
Dearborn27123
Warrick26829
Vigo2618
Decatur25732
Lawrence25325
Harrison21822
Greene19932
Miami1942
Jennings17912
Putnam1748
DeKalb1694
Scott1659
Wayne1596
Daviess15117
Perry15110
Steuben1402
Orange13823
Jasper1362
Ripley1357
Franklin1288
Gibson1282
Wabash1193
Carroll1142
Starke1093
Fayette1087
Whitley1086
Newton10110
Huntington942
Jefferson872
Wells831
Randolph804
Fulton761
Jay720
Knox710
Washington681
Pulaski661
Clay645
Posey640
Rush623
Spencer591
Owen531
Benton510
Sullivan511
Adams491
Brown441
Blackford402
Fountain362
Crawford330
Tipton331
Switzerland320
Parke280
Martin260
Ohio230
Vermillion200
Warren151
Union140
Pike120
Unassigned0193

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 66853

Reported Deaths: 3064
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin12301449
Cuyahoga9359399
Hamilton7046208
Lucas3079306
Marion275539
Montgomery257936
Summit2382209
Pickaway222942
Mahoning1971239
Butler189747
Columbiana139560
Stark1244116
Lorain118970
Trumbull106678
Warren101826
Clark82010
Delaware76315
Fairfield71917
Lake62723
Tuscarawas62110
Licking60012
Medina59932
Belmont57324
Clermont5157
Miami51431
Wood51051
Portage50960
Ashtabula45244
Geauga43143
Richland3906
Allen38541
Wayne37655
Greene3659
Mercer30410
Erie30122
Holmes2625
Darke26126
Huron2602
Madison2259
Ottawa21724
Athens1921
Sandusky17615
Ross1503
Washington14720
Putnam14515
Coshocton1434
Crawford1405
Jefferson1272
Morrow1271
Hardin12512
Union1151
Auglaize1124
Muskingum1061
Preble961
Lawrence920
Clinton912
Monroe8917
Hancock871
Hocking839
Guernsey824
Scioto770
Shelby774
Williams772
Carroll713
Logan711
Ashland692
Fulton680
Wyandot665
Brown621
Fayette580
Highland581
Champaign571
Knox571
Defiance553
Van Wert491
Perry481
Seneca442
Henry370
Paulding340
Jackson310
Pike290
Adams282
Vinton232
Gallia211
Noble140
Harrison131
Meigs130
Morgan120
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 75°
Angola
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 66°
Huntington
Clear
69° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 69°
Decatur
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 68°
Van Wert
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 68°
Storms Late Wednesday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events