The International Federation of Muaythai Amateur (IFMA) recognized "Palestine" as a nation and invited their coach to represent all the coaches in delivering an ethical declaration at the open ceremony.
After a flag parade in which nations were called in alphabetical order including a "Palestine" representative, approximately one hour and seventeen minutes into the IFMA ceremony video, the Master of Ceremonies announces, "Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to invite representatives from athletes, coaches, and referees to give their oaths.
"Firstly, we would like to welcome the representative on behalf of the athletes participating in this championship." After introducing the Thai representative, the MC continues: "And also, reading the oaths, on behalf of the team officials of participating countries, please welcome Ahmad Abu Dukan from Palestine." Then the Australian representative was announced, and all three were asked to approach center stage.
After the Thai representative read a statement on behalf of the athletes, the MC announced, "And next, reading the coach's oath on behalf of team officials, Ahmad Abu Dukan." Dukan then read a prepared statement that said: "In the name of all coaches, I promise that we will strictly follow the IFMA code of ethics, good governance, respecting and abiding by the rules which govern them in the true spread of sportsmanship and fair play. We lead by example to our athletes and uphold the fundamental principles of IFMA, being honor, tradition, respect, excellence, and fair-play."
The FIFA ethics committee recently opened an investigation against Palestinian Authority official Jibril Rajoub for breaching FIFA by-laws by promoting and glorifying terrorism, inciting hatred and violence, promoting racism, and preventing the use of the game of football in order to build a bridge for peace.
The Israel Foreign Ministry did not immediately respond to an Arutz Sheva query whether Israel will protest the IFMA status conferral. The Culture and Sports Ministry was also contacted for their reaction and comment.
Muay Thai or Thai boxing is a combat sport of Thailand that uses stand-up striking along with various clinching techniques. The discipline is known as the "Art of Eight Limbs" because it is characterized by the combined use of fists, elbows, knees, and shins.
The first time they sent a delegation was at the Youth World Muaythai Championships 2017, when a Druze Israeli won the bronze medal at the Thai Boxing Championships after the "Palestinian" competitor refused to face him in the ring.
Amit Mdah, 16, defeated a competitor from Madagascar to reach the bronze medal quarter-finals fight in the World Youth Muaythai Championships, only to have the bout cancelled. The "Palestinian" athlete Sultan Al-Haj declared he would not face Mdah, who is a Druze from Sumei in the Galilee. The Israeli side therefore scored a technical win.
In a video released by Palestinian Media Watch, Al-Haj admitted that he was forced to pull out of the match by the Palestinian Olympic Committee.
“I didn’t make the decision," Al-Haj told Palestine This Morning. "My trainers and the Olympic Committee made the decision, and as a competitor I cannot oppose them. The decision was reached that it is forbidden to compete with Israelis, because it is beneath our dignity to compete with them and recognize the State of Israel.”