Kolkata, May 29 (IANS) Mixed martial arts promoters ONE Championship is discussing whether the contact sport needs a tweaking of rules or not with medical experts when they resume activities in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, a top official said on Friday.
In cricket, the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Cricket Committee has recommended a ban on saliva as a part of health safety protocols while in football players spitting on the field is being debated.
The Romanian FA (FRF) and the country’s professional league has set up protocol where players could be banned for up to 12 matches for spitting when the season resumes.
“We will follow the health and safety protocols mandated by the Govt of the country where we host it to ensure the event can be carried out safely. Adequate COVID-19 testing on everyone involved will also be carried out as well. As for the rules, do we need to tweak them is something we are discussing with medical experts and will have to wait and watch, for now we don’t have anything to share in specifics,” Hari Vijayarajan, Group Chief Commercial Officer at ONE Championship told IANS in an interview.
In late February, India’s Ritu Phogat recorded her second win in her MMA career by beating debutant Wu Chiao Chen of China at the One: King of the Jungle event.
The ONE Championship event was held behind closed doors at the Singapore Indoor Stadium and till date is the last time the competition was held before COVID-19 brought the world to a standstill.
Asked when and how the competition is plotting a return, Vijayarajan said: “We are working with governments and monitoring border controls as to when they will be lifted and we can return back and resuming live actions.
“We will surely be starting with closed door events, to protect the health of fans, athletes and staff. We had already done a similar set of fights before the lockdown where the matches were conducted in empty stadiums, so we have experience and understanding on how it works.”
Among sports teams and leagues, One Championship achieved the fourth highest number of cross-platform views in 2019.
On whether they are looking at any non-live contents or reality shows, he added: “The Apprentice: ONE Championship edition will be our first foray into reality shows.
“ONE Championship will produce a cool, hip vibe version of “The Apprentice” and make it one of the best seasons of the show in history.
“We will add a few amazing elements into the narrative of the show such as having Celebrity Guest CEOs like India’s only female entrepreneur Ankiti Bose who is an established near-unicorn with her venture, Zilingo will be judging the business challenges and ONE World Champions who are our Star Fighters will judge the physical challenges.”