A council has said it is willing to work with an amateur boxing club after a boxing show was cancelled at the eleventh hour due to a licensing mix up.

Ribble Valley Amateur Boxing Club was due to host a show at St Michael and St John’s Parish Centre in Clitheroe on Friday night (November 10) but it was cancelled at the last minute by the venue because it did not hold the correct licence.

Mohammed Sirtaj, who runs the club, said a solicitor for Ribble Valley Council had been in touch as he believed the club didn’t have proper insurance in place for the ring which was being used for event.

However, Mr Sirtaj reassured the solicitor they did have all the correct policies in place for the ring, and also for all coaches, under England Boxing, and sent him the relevant emails and documentation.

Lancashire Telegraph: St Michael & St John Parish CentreSt Michael & St John Parish Centre (Image: Google Maps)

He said: “Months in advance, we made sure to comply with all England Boxing requirements in order for the event to go ahead safely and in accordance with the law.

“As an amateur boxing club we dedicate endless time and effort to work with young children as young as seven-years-old who have a keen interest in this Olympic sport, boxing.

“These young kids attended the gym every evening, night after night to train and prepare to put on a show of their boxing skills in front of their friends and families. 

“All preparations for this family event had been completed.”

Despite this, the council’s solicitor then said the venue did not have the correct licence or insurance.

Mr Sirtaj went on: “We were given the all clear to proceed with the event but an hour later I received another call, this time from the venue manager, saying  the solicitor had called again and had again said the event could not go ahead.

“He said although the ring was now ok, the premises licence of the venue didn't cover the event to go ahead.”

Mr Sirtaj said he spoke with the council’s solicitor at length, who explained that despite the venue being insured and having a premises licence to host ‘indoor sporting events’, boxing did not fall under this category, and the event would be cancelled.

He went on: “I continued without any success to try and explain to him that boxing is a sport.

"It's an Olympic sport and this event is covered by the premises licence, and it's covered by England Boxing. We are doubly covered so he had no grounds to refuse and cancel the event.

“Was it not for the solicitor or the council to provide us with information on how to overcome this condition when the event had been publicised months in advance?

“The council were fully aware of the date and place of the event. We even had some council staff attending the show.

"So why then contact us on the day of the show and tell us that it can’t go ahead as the premises doesn't specifically say boxing is allowed?

“This has caused a lot of disappointment for the kids who have been left disheartened.”

It is believed boxing, as a sport, has a distinct set of licensing requirements, thought to be in relation to risk of injury, and therefore is not covered as an indoor sport in this type of situation for that particular venue.

A Ribble Valley Borough Council spokesperson said: “We received notification at the last minute that the boxing event did not have the necessary insurance and the premises hosting it did not hold the correct licence.

“We immediately sought confirmation that the proposed event was a licensable activity under the Licensing Act, as the existing licence did not cover boxing events.

“It was established that the event was indeed licensable, and the licence holder might risk prosecution or a licence review and the invalidation of their insurance if the event went ahead.

“The licence holder did not have enough time to vary its existing licence or obtain a temporary one, and therefore decided to cancel the event.

“We advised the event organiser and licence holder to seek legal advice and consult England Boxing to establish if there was any way in which the event could proceed without the relevant licence being in place, but we understand this was not possible.

“We appreciate how disappointed people are, but we have a legal duty to ensure that any event we licence is fully compliant with the law.

“We are more than happy to work with the event organisers and licence holder to ensure that these events can go ahead in the future in the correct and compliant manner for the benefit of everyone.”