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.
GV Athletes' buses at Mirabelle Airport in Montreal
SV Kenyan athletes leaving bus
CU Holdall with words "Kenya Olympic Team" and PAN TO Athletes carrying Kenyan flag
SV PAN FROM Bicycles TO Members of Cameroun team waiting in airport lounge (2 shots)
SV Ghanaian athletes leaving bus
CU Ghana badge on athlete's blazer and athletes walking through to airport lounge (2 shots)
CU Egyptian badge and members of team in airport lounge (2 shots)
SV Members of Egyptian team having air tickets checked
(HEATHROW AIRPORT) SV INTERIOR Members of Kenyan team pushing luggage trolleys
CU Keino pushing trolley and other members with luggage
SCU Philip Ndoo talking to Visnews report
CU Mr. Lugonzo speaking to Visnews reporter
GV Members of Kenya team walk with luggage to bus
TRANSCRIPT: ROTHE: "Philip, how did the team take the news they were going to be pulled out of Montreal?"
NDOO: "Naturally, they were very disappointed, but as Africans do, they didn't express verbally their disappointment. As we say in Africa back home, whenever true bulls fight it's the grass which suffers so we have to go with the position of the Government and that's how we took it."
ROTHE: "Now Philip, you're an athlete yourself and also a well-known journalist on athletic affairs, how do you feel about the decision to pull out by the African nations, not only Kenya but also all the other ones as well?"
NDOO: "Well, I think that for the politicians they have made their point that when they say something is going to happen it's going to happen, but for the athletes ... very discouraging and there are some of them who express their disappointment. That is something you cannot recover. For me it's one big lost race, but for most of the others it's a very hard time."
ROTHE: "Did you find that all the athletes were in sympathy with the Kenya Government?"
SEQ. 12: LUGONZO: "Oh yes, true Kenyans they have to abide by the decision made by the Government. I don't think any of the athletes felt to disobey the Government decision."
ROTHE: "Think you, Mr. Lugonzo."
VISNEWS AFRICA EDITOR
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: 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.