|GAB has just submitted the protocols set by the PFL and the PBA so that the clubs can return to practice. Dennis Acosta (file photo)|
By Ivan Saldajeno
MANILA--The Games and Amusements Board made the first step to hopefully have sports events again during the COVID-19 pandemic.
First reported by Radyo Pilipinas 2's Aaron Bayato in the Eat, Sleep, Breathe Football podcast on Wednesday night, GAB met with the Inter-Agency Task Force's technical working group and submitted the protocols set for the resumption of practices in certain sports.
"We finished presenting to them mga 3:30 [p.m.]," GAB chairman Baham Mitra confirmed the development to Dugout Philippines.
He later revealed that the protocols sent to GAB that was then sent to the IATF TWG were from basketball, football, and boxing.
It became known last month that the PBA, the Chooks-To-Go Pilipinas 3x3, and the PFL already have protocols set in hopes that they can resume practice.
On the other hand, Mitra said that GAB drafted the boxing protocols it sent to the IATF TWG with some additions made by the Omega and Elorde Boxing Gyms, but the former Palawan governor later said that having training sessions for boxing again is a long shot at this stage of the pandemic.
"Kami yung gumawa noong safety protocols, pero ayaw pa rin talaga ng DOH eh. Walang go signal," Mitra rued.
Under the general community quarantine and the modified GCQ, combat sports like boxing remain prohibited.
Mitra, however, said that he is still pleading to the IATF to finally allow boxing to return especially that some countries like Nicaragua and the United States began organizing boxing cards again during the pandemic.
In fact, a Filipino boxer, Mike Plania, made a statement in a boxing event in America two weeks ago after stunning world title contender Josh Greer.
[Related Story: Mike Plania stuns title contender Joshua Greer]
Meanwhile, Mitra added that while GAB already submitted the basketball, football, and boxing protocols to the IATF, the latter, which has the final say, can suggest tweaks before it can finally approve them.
"The IATF has the power to do anything it wants. Sila ang may say," he continued.
One modification the IATF suggested was to limit the attendees present in a certain practice session inside an area under GCQ to only five men, four athletes and a trainer.
"Sinabihan ako si [Health] Secretary [Francisco] Duque to meet with the PSC and DOH, so gumawa ng joint administrative order. Yun ang sinubmit namin sa TWG," Mitra further said, baring that the said administrative order is the five-man limit in a practice session.
However, in the case of the PFL and even the Azkals, Mitra said that he may allow up to 10 people on the pitch of the PFF National Training Centre in Carmona assuming that Cavite will ease into the MGCQ by July 16.
He then said that the IATF may consider allowing up to 20 people in practices once all the restrictions have been eased.
Mitra added that the TWG will convene as early as Thursday during the IATF meeting once all the industries submit their protocols.
In conclusion, Mitra said that GAB will follow IATF's final decision on the practice protocols.
Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno