WLC Reflect On Difficult Decision To Postpone Recent Show
Sports can be a great unifier, where tension and conflict from race, religion, politics and other current affairs can be forgotten and fans, allowing athletes to come together for the common love of sports. However, in times of crisis, sports organisations have a responsibility too.
This past week has sent the world of sports into shock with fixtures and tournaments in football, basketball, tennis and beyond being postponed or cancelled at the last minute. Quite often it has been after the city issues an advisory or someone directly related to the sport has contracted the Wuhan Coronavirus, the global pandemic that is spreading like wildfire throughout the world.
In the world of martial arts, Bellator postponed their 241 event just hours before it was due to begin and in the last few hours, the UFC have just confirmed that despite their best efforts, they have postponed their next three events.
One move that flew under the radar was the World Lethwei Championship’s decision to postpone WLC: Khmer Kingdom three weeks ago, which was initially set to be the promotion’s first ever international event, and when the landscape of the sports world was still ‘the show must go on’.
Even though Myanmar had zero confirmed cases at the time, the organisers at WLC decided the prudent thing to do, especially with international staff and fighters, would be to postpone what was one of the most anticipated martial arts events this year.
When speaking with reporters to announce the cancellation, WLC chairman Zay Thiha explained how he came to the difficult decision.
“We are socially responsible for our actions and caution and safety should be the number one priority. Although it is difficult, it is the right decision.”
At the time, it was unpopular among lethwei fans but now it proved to be the smart decision. Ultimately, sports is still a business but it is so much more than that. It is a representation of the hopes and dreams of millions and millions of fans worldwide, and it is imperative to maintain their trust in difficult times.