The decision by England's Rugby Union authorities to go ahead with a controversial tour of South Africa in June has met with widespread reaction among politicians and sportsmen alike.
SOUTH AFRICA: (RUBYTHON):
SV Danie Craven, President of South African Rugby Board, speaking (SOT)
SOUTH AFRICA: (VISNEWS LIBRARY):
GV PAN JUNE 3, 1972: England v. South African in Johannesburg match in progress (England in all white)
SOUTH AFRICA: (RUBYTHON):
SCU Former President of anti-tour body SACOS (South Africa Council of Sport) Hassna Howa speaking (SOT)
UNITED NATIONS: (UNTV)
SCU INTERIOR UN Specials Committee Chairman Joseph Garba speaking (SOT)
DANIE CRAVEN (SEQ. ONE): "Well needless to say, I'm delighted that England will be coming to us this year. I'm delighted for three reasons. Number one, because it's England, and it shows that they still have leaders, leaders who will stick out their necks for rugby and the search for the rugby world. To give an example to the rest of the world, that's why we're grateful for them. The second reason is this: that they are our partners in change, for in 1972 they came to South Africa for the first time ever, a black team and a coloured team respectively played against whites in this country, opening the way and helping us to make the necessary changes we have done since then. Thirdly, I'm very pleased for the sake of the coloured and the black too because , when they were outside, we had all the tours that we could get. Now that they're in with us, we have to battle to get tours, and countries have to battle to help us to get the tours. Now this time the coloured and blacks will see that they've become partners with us as well."
HASSNA HOWA: (SEQ. THREE): "This decision fortunately cannot be taken in isolation, and I think as far as England is concerned, the decision by the rugby players and if they come to South Africa, will definitely have repercussions at the Olympic Games in San Francisco and in future commonwealth Games."
JOSEPH GARBA: (SEQ. FOUR): "We have been told that the English Football Rugby Football Union has decided to send an international team to tour South Africa. I most strongly condemn that decision. I recall that rugby federations in Wales and Scotland have decided not to tour South Africa. The French government took action against the French rugby tour. The English Union has ignored appeals and demands from many quarters, it does endanger the participation of English teams in Commonwealth Games and other events. A Special Committee will soon consider action on this matter."
SPORT: RUGBY UNION
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The decision by England's Rugby Union authorities to go ahead with a controversial tour of South Africa in June has met with widespread reaction among politicians and sportsmen alike. Opposition to the tour is based on apartheid policies of racial segregation in South Africa which affect many sports events. Danie Craven, the President of the South African Rugby Board, professed his delight in England's decision to tour his country. The last time England toured South Africa was in June 1972, and England were victorious, winning the only test by 18 points to 14. Hassan Howa, former president of the anti-tour body SACOS (the South African Council of Sport), said that the decision to tour could not be taken in isolation. In the UK, there is concern that the decision may damage Commonwealth and international sport. United Nations Special Committee Chairman Joseph Garba, has condemned the decision to tour South Africa and said the Committee would hold a special meeting on April 3 to consider its response. Garba said participation of English team in Commonwealth events might be endangered.