Initially, the organizers planned to hold the tournament in the Russian capital. But because of the restrictions associated with the epidemic of the coronavirus, there was an option to move the show in Minsk. However, for the organization of the tournament in the capital of Belarus also had to settle a lot of questions. This crossing closed borders, and the coordination of activities with local authorities, and more. In the end, the organizers adopted turned out to be the right decision: they appealed to the Secretary of the Union state Grigory Rapota.

– I would Like to Express my sincere gratitude to the Secretary of State of the Union state Grigory A. Rapota – said the President of the League “Leon Varriors” Anatoly Sulanov. Without his help, without interaction with Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Tatyana Alekseyevna Golikova, Oleg Vasilyevich Matytsin by the Minister of sports of Russia, this competition could not take place. We decided, since it is our contention concerns the relationship between Russia and Belarus, appealed directly to Grigory Alekseevich. He received us with great attention and respect to what we do, to the fact that in such a difficult time trying to develop the sport, hold tournaments, to encourage people to exercise. For us it was even a bit unexpected how clearly and quickly he helped us solve the problem. Without his help it would have been almost unsolvable. And so all administrative barriers have been overcome pretty quickly.

What is the result? And to Minsk and back of athletes carried on “isolated” buses in specially organized quarantine corridors.

– This tournament we agreed with the leaders of Belarus, with the chief physician of the city of Minsk, – said before the competition Anatoly Sulanov. In normal circumstances the transfer of the tournament from a technical point of view, from the point of view of logistics – normal, standard operation. But in normal conditions, not in the midst of a dangerous epidemic of coronavirus. Of course, there were some difficulties. But we have carefully complied with all the requirements of the “quarantine corridors.” All three athletes were tested for coronavirus. Coherence, as the Russian structures and the Belarusian, coupled with the professional approach of our team will allow the tournament to take place in conditions of maximum security.

By the way, the show was in the format of “no spectators”. All main fights of martial arts fans saw the live broadcast on the Russian channel “Match TV”. And yet, even with all the taken security measures, Russian athletes after returning from Minsk was quarantined. However, for the sake of possibility to go into the octagon for the fighters it seems to be utter nonsense.

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Jennifer Alvarez is an investigative journalist and is a correspondent for European Union. She is based in Zurich in Switzerland and her field of work include covering human rights violations which take place in the various countries in and outside Europe. She also reports about the political situation in European Union. She has worked with some reputed companies in Europe and is currently contributing to USA News as a freelance journalist. As someone who has a Masters’ degree in Human Rights she also delivers lectures on Intercultural Management to students of Human Rights. She is also an authority on the Arab world politics and their diversity.