At a meeting of the International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF) in Canada on Thursday (22 July), it was decided to expel South Africa for practising discrimination in athletics.
GV AND CU Hotel Bonaventura exterior and flags flying. (2 shots)
SV INT (MUTE) Members of IAAF executive with Lord Exeter (Chairman) seated in centre.
CU Congress members seated.
SV Ivory Coast delegate seated.
CU President of South African Amateur Athletic Union, Hannes Botha, speaking.
SV Zambian delegate seated.
SV Jean-Claude Ganga, Secretary-General of Supreme Council for Sport in Africa speaking in French.
SV Votes being placed in ballot boxes.
SV Ivory Coast delegate seated.
CU Lord Exeter announces result of vote PAN TO African delegates applauding.
BOTHA: "Since 1971, equal opportunities were given to all athletes who reached the required standards. This progress seems to be totally ignored by those countries who call for South Africa's exclusion. Now I ask this congress,s "I this what we deserve, after years and years of devotion to the sport"? Mr. President, I categorically deny discrimination in South African athletics. When I earnestly, Mr. Chairman, may I earnestly appeal to congress that extreme care should be taken not to subject our wonderful sport to political expediency and blatant prejudice."
A similar proposal from the Soviet Union, calling for the expulsion of Rhodesia for practising racial discrimination in athletics was shelved until the next IAAF congress sin 1978. The decision was taken because there were no delegates present to defend Rhodesia's position. The Canadian Ministry for Foreign Affairs refused to grant entry visas to Rhodesian officials in accordance with the United Nations sanctions against Rhodesia.
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Background: At a meeting of the International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF) in Canada on Thursday (22 July), it was decided to expel South Africa for practising discrimination in athletics.
SYNOPSIS: The delegates met in Montreal. The motion to expel South Africa came from the Soviet Union, Senegal and Sudan. The Senegalese delegate, Pata Gallo Thiam, said the South African Amateur Athletic Union was still exclusively white and received government support. But Mr. Hannes Botha, President of the South African AAU, denied Senegal's charges.
The delegates then heard M. Jean-Claude Ganga, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council for Sport in Africa (SCSA). He said that it was not possible to pretend that racial discrimination did not exist in South Africa. He thought it unfortunate that the expulsion of South Africa would affect black sportsmen as well as white, but there was no alternative. He said that if the expulsion move was defeated, it would only be delaying the inevitable.
Before the delegates voted by secret ballot, Mr. Harold Abrahams of Britain said expulsion was not the best way to combat apartheid. He said that it was impossible to influence people if one had nothing to do with them and added that South Africa's non-white athletes would not benefit from being totally excluded from international sport.
But the delegates decided by 227 votes to 145 to expel South Africa from the IAAF. The decision means that South Africa will be unable to take part in athletics events of any sort against foreign rivals.