After a September 22nd confirmation by the VISA call center that each of the fighters and trainers would be issued VISAS and a confirmed e-mail appointment to pick up the fighters’ and trainers’ passports on September 25th, the British Embassy delivered an unexpected surprise. They would only be issuing a VISA to Pakorn, while his trainer, Kongsak, Rumnai, and their trainers would be denied. Each of the team members filed the same applications and provided the same documents. Pakorn was the only one to get the VISA.
Motivation is linked to the embassy and their policy on not decisively clearing the professions of fighters and trainers. In a further attempt to fix the problem, Yokkao asked why there was no request for the additional documents needed when filing online. Immigration responded that “the embassy has no elements to help with the issuance of VISAS, the procedure must be done online." Regardless of the answer it says a lot about the service offered. The online procedure does not require you to attach any documents to attest to the profession of the applicants. Why did they refuse to provide the visas to the trainers and the other fighters while issuing a VISA only to Pakorn? and according to what criteria? The answer lies behind the business that has been created: pay the application again and call the call center, a call that can only be made by entering the details of your credit card, and a call that, in reality, will provide any real answer. Is this a business or a disservice? Either way you look at it, it has played against the sport, the fans of Muay Thai, the organizers, and the fighters who have sacrificed so much and trained so hard for their fights.
We sincerely hope that something will change given that in 2014 we have already registered three cases with the British Embassy in Thailand: YOKKAO 8, Thai Fight, and now YOKKAO 10/11. Pakorn PK MuayThaiGym is still confirmed to fight Greg Wootton as the main event of YOKKAO 11. The replacements for Tim Thomas and Dean James’ opponents will be announced soon. With over 20 fights in two cards at the price of one ticket, YOKKAO 10 and YOKKAO 11 still remain an absolute massive event that shouldn’t be missed. Some of the fighters who will be gracing the YOKKAO stage and displaying real Muay Thai action are: Jordan Watson, Mickael Piscitello, Karim Bennoui, Panicos Yusuf, Dean James, Tim Thomas, Pakorn PK MuayThaiGym, Greg Wootton, Crice Boussoukou, and Brad Stanton. YOKKAO 10 and YOKKAO 11 - Saturday 11th October 2014 - Reebok Stadium (Bolton - UK).