BANGKOK: Three boys along with their 25-year-old coach, who were rescued from Tham Luang cave in northern Thailand last month, were granted Thai citizenship on Wednesday.
The head coach of the Wild Boars soccer team, said, they received their official Thai ID cards along with another team member, who had also applied for citizenship but was not in the cave, reported Fox News.
As per the report of The Guardian, the boys were stateless, despite having been born in Thailand and their lack of citizenship deprived them of some basic benefits and rights, including the ability to travel outside of Chiang Rai, the Northern Province where they live. The area is home to ethnic minorities with roots in neighbouring Myanmar.
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."
The footballers and the coach were among the 13 people who were trapped in the cave for nine days until their dramatic rescue.
Now after getting their citizenship, all four will not be deprived of basic benefits and rights, including the ability to travel outside of Chiang Rai, the Northern Province where they live.
For those unversed, the footballers were found by the British divers in July, with footage showing them visibly weak and huddled on a mud mound deep inside the Tham Luang cave.
The party was strolling inside the cave, following which they were trapped for nine days, before being found.