The British Lions rugby union team left London for Johannesburg on Monday night (6 May) to begin their disputed tour to South Africa.
GV British Lion players checked by security in airport lounge
SV PAN British Lions players along corridor and into plane (2 shots)
SV PAN British Lion player and air crew along corridor and into plane
GV South African Airways GV Plane taxiing.
Initials AE/1.37 AE/1.49
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Background: The British Lions rugby union team left London for Johannesburg on Monday night (6 May) to begin their disputed tour to South Africa.
Malawi have already called off London Football Club Leyton Orient's tour that was to begin next Thursday (9 May). There are also fears that Zaire may pull out of the World Football Cup because they are in the same league as Scotland.
There have bene several anti-apartheid protests concerning the tour during the last month, but there were no demonstrators at london airport.
Mr. Peter Hain, who led the successful campaign to stop the South African cricket tout to Britain, wrote to Prime Minister Mr. Harold Wilson about the tour. He said rugby was the only sport to defy world opinion and Kenya would certainly boycott British sportsmen if the tour took place.
Minister of Sport Mr. Denis Howell said the tour was "unwise", but the government would not force the organisers to call it off.
The British Lions will play non-white teams for the first time. Manager Alan Thomas said the thirty players were looking forward to the tour, especially the test matches against South Africa.