The trapped footballers in a Thai-cave, who were found visibly weak by the British divers in July, took the media limelight again. The three of those along with their coach again created a buzz by being granted the Thai citizenship.
With this, all four will not be deprived of basic benefits and rights in the country. They will also hold the ability to travel outside of Chiang Rai, in the Northern Province, where they actually live.
The 25 year-old head coach of the Wild Boars soccer team confirmed the receiving of their official Thai ID cards along with another team member, who had also applied for citizenship but was not in the cave. He said, “I am happy. If they have Thai citizenship, in the future, if they don’t want to play football they can take exams to become public officials or find good work that is related to their field of studies”, as reported by ANI.
The footballers and the coach were among the 13 people who were trapped in the cave for nine days.
Thailand is home to around 480,000 stateless people, according to the UN refugee agency. The long-ignored issue came into focus during the rescue mission when it was revealed that four of those trapped inside lacked citizenship, prompting calls for the government to fast-track applications, as reported by AFP.
(With inputs from ANI)