The Organisation of African Unity has praised the withdrawal of African countries from the Olympic Games in protest against New Zealand's sporting links with South Africa.
The Organisation of African Unity has praised the withdrawal of African countries from the Olympic Games in protest against New Zealand's sporting links with South Africa. On Wednesday (21 July), Tunisia announced it would recall its athletes from Montreal. They join Egypt, Morocco and about twenty African countries who have withdrawn from the games.
SYNOPSIS: On Tuesday (20 July), sportsmen from African and Arab countries left Montreal to return home. One of the teams which will be missed is Kenya, whose runners and boxers had been highly rated. The Kenyans had expected to win several medals and members of the squad said they were very disappointed at missing the opportunity to compete.
The Secretary General of the DAU, Mr. William Eteki Mboumoua, said the decision to withdraw was a political gesture by Africans to rid themselves of all forms of exploitation and humiliation.
The countries boycotting the Olympics risk expulsion from future Games, but the International Olympic Committee has postponed any decision on sanctions.
A spokesman for the Egyptian team said his country had recalled its athletes as an expression of support for African nations and as a protest against racism in South Africa.
The Kenyan team passed through London's Heathrow Airport on Wednesday (21 July) on the way home. Philip Ndoo, who would have run the marathon, and the Chairman of Kenya's National Sports Council, Mr. Isaac Lugonzo, commented on the withdrawal to Visnews reporter, Paul Toulmin-Rothe.
As well as the countries which withdrew, several African nations did not send teams at all because of the racism issue.