By The Nation
The 32-year-old caused quite a stir in social media when he wrote on his Facebook page: “How do we get to this point? The point that we eat rice with fish sauce and with water seasoned with Ros Dee [food seasoning]. #Thailand Boxing Association.”
Chatchai who won the flyweight bronze medal in the 2013 World Amateur Championships in Almaty, Kazakhstan, is currently camping in Cuba.
His revelation about their poor living conditions prompted TBA secretary-general Pol Lt-Colonel Chaiwat Chotima to clarify that its athletes have been treated properly and allowances have been paid to them continuously.
“Since Pichai Chunhavajira became president of the TBA in 2013, we have always treated boxers like our own children. Regarding the camp in Cuba, we have set a big budget that should be sufficient to cover their food and accommodation.
“The message posted by Chatchai could lead to misunderstandings. I believe the problem is about the distance between the accommodation and the fresh market, which makes it inconvenient to go out and buy food. The problem is not about money in this case,” Pichai said in the statement.
Chatchai’s message was later removed from his Facebook while his new post read “Good. So they will play hardball.” Chatchai was not available for comments.
His wife Chutarat Butdee later explained to The Nation that Chatchai just wanted to express that Cuba was a tough country to live in and food was hard to find. She clarified that money was not the issue.