Sumo chief apologises after female first responders ordered to leave the ring

The head of Japan's sumo association has apologised over an incident in which women first responders were asked to leave the ring as they attempted to revive an official who collapsed.

In sumo's tradition, the ring is considered sacred and women are prohibited from entering.

That posed a problem yesterday when the mayor of Maizuru in northern Kyoto collapsed during a speech.

Two women, apparently medical experts, rushed in and started performing first aid.

When two more women rose to the ring, repeated announcements demanded the women get out.

Footage posted on social media triggered outrage, with many criticising sumo officials and saying they were choosing tradition over life.

Sumo chief Nobuyoshi Hakkaku called the announcement inappropriate and apologised.

- AP

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