The boys at the Phra That Doi Wao Buddhist temple in the Mae Sai district of Chiang Rai. (Photo: AFP)

Bangkok (NNT/VNA)
- The Moo Pa Academy soccer coach of Thailand has entered monkhood with the intention of remaining in the clergy for the remainder of the season, while 11 of the 12 rescued boys will also serve for nine days. 

Chiang Rai Governor Prachon Pratsakul chaired the ordination ceremony for the soccer team at Wat Phra That Doi Tung in Chiang Rai. The ordination is dedicated to their parents, Lieutenant Commander Saman Gunan, who lost his life during the rescue operation, as well as King Rama X and Queen Sirikit of the Ninth Reign. 

Coach Ekapol Chantawong intends to serve in the monkhood for the remainder of the season, while the 11 teammates will serve until August 4. The 12 newly ordained monks will take up residence at Wat Pha That Doi Wao. The 12th team member, Adul Sam-On, is Christian and has performed rites in accordance with his faith. 

Also present at the ordination ceremony was the widow of Lieutenant Commander Saman as well as Lieutenant Colonel Dr Phak Lohanchun, who provided medical assistance during the rescue and was the last to exit the cave.-NNT/VNA