GhanaSports

Boxing takes baby steps towards return in Ghana

The Ghana Boxing Authority adopts safety protocols to guard against public health risks as the sport seeks to return to normal

The Ghana Boxing Authority has settled on a draft of measures to regulate the conduct of boxing activities amid the OVID-19-induced restrictions on contact sports.

In March 2020 the Government of Ghana announced, among many things, a ban on all sports disciplines, with a view to stopping the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Despite the lifting of restrictions on non-contact sports, contact disciplines remain banned.

Socially distant

However, at a recent stakeholder meeting, judges, referees, promoters, managers and all other stakeholders under the Ghana Boxing Authority agreed to introduce social distancing at various stadiums.

They also agreed to test boxers before bouts, and that referees will have to wear face masks while officiating bouts.

Boxing promoters will have to ensure frequent sanitising of the boxing ring and all equipment near the ring.

#AsaaseSports understands that the GBA will now meet with the government’s COVID-19 Response Team and the Ministries of Health and Sports to present their plan to them. The regulators are aiming to convince the government to lift the ban on boxing.

Tempted by fans

The chief executive officer of Box Office Promotions, Alex Ntiamoah, who confirmed the development to #AsaaseSports, argued that the measures will be necessary for the sport to return to normality.

“It was agreed at the stakeholder meeting that these protocols are necessary if we are to resume normalcy, and the reasons for this don’t really need telling.

“The major thing is that boxers will be tested for the virus a week before each fight. Officials will also need to observe safety protocols by putting on nose masks and staying within reasonable distance of the next person.

“Then there should be frequent sanitising of the boxing ring and the materials or equipment within that space,” he said.

Ntiamoah also said promoters are ready to comply with all required protocols, so that the sport can return.

‘‘The issue of spectators came up. On that, the GBA’s position was that fans would only be allowed into such venues if seating arrangements would be made with social distancing in mind.

“We do recognise the temptation to get as many fans as possible into the stadiums for bouts, but also face the reality that if we do not comply with protocols, the bouts may not even be sanctioned,” he said.

Victor Tamakloe

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