9/30/11 (AEIN) News reports of young British children in cagefighting matches have sparked strong criticism in the U.K. and abroad. Meanwhile, the Telegraph newspaper reported on Thursday that police will not take action against child cagefighting organizers, because there is no law prohibiting such fights.
Britain's Culture Secretary has termed the matches as "barbaric," according to the Daily Mail newspaper. The Daily Mirror quoted the Chief Executive of a brain injury association as saying that the events are "dangerous and wrong," while the British Association of Martial Arts called them "shocking" and inappropriate.
Child cagefighting matches also came under criticism from the British Medical Association, a physiotherapist, a vicar and various newspaper columnists. Outside of Britain, Cuban state radio broadcast a harshly critical editorial on Thursday and the events received negative media coverage in other nations, particularly former U.K. colonies.
The fights involve children starting at eight years old who fight before noisy, drunken crowds of several hundred spectators. Children kick, punch and wrestle each other without pads, gloves or helmets, according to the Telegraph. Organizers, parents and spectators defend the events, portraying them as lawful outlets for aggression.
Others worry that the fights will cause lasting physical or psychological harm to the children, especially when taking into consideration the recent studies on long-term health effects of child abuse and other traumatic experiences. Britain also holds cagefighting matches among teenagers and adults.