FF Plus hands petition on political interference in rugby to British High Commissioner

2015-08-31
Adv Anton Alberts

The FF Plus handed a petition to the British High Commissioner this morning in Pretoria, in which it is requested that the British High Commissioner in South Africa, the British rugby unions and the British government take note of the ANC government’s interference in sport in South Africa.

The full letter follows below:

POLITICAL INTERFERENCE IN THE ELECTION OF THE SPRINGBOK RUGBY TEAM FOR THE RUGBY WORLD-CUP OF 2015

The above matter refers.

We hereby kindly request that you take note of the possible political interference with regards to the selection of the South African Springbok rugby team for the Rugby World Cup of 2015 to be held in England.

We kindly request that the British High Commissioner, the British Rugby-Unions and the British Government take note of the following:

  1. The South African government is forcing a quota-system based on race for the selection of the South African national and provincial rugby teams onto the rugby unions, including the South African Rugby Union. This is in breach of the golden international sporting code of no political interference in sport. The Minister of Sport and Recreation is further proposing that in future the national and all provincial rugby teams must reflect the national demographics of young men (please see the attached media statement from the Minister). This means that 84% of each rugby team must be black and only 16% of every team will consist of coloured, Indian and white players. This in means in practice that less than 3 positions in every team will be available for minorities.
  2. The political interference in the selection of the national rugby team may mean that South-Africa`s strongest available team will not be competing and/or taking part in the Rugby World-Cup Tournament for 2015.
  3. This interference also places unnecessary pressure on the black players in the Springbok team selected on merit as they may also now be viewed as mere quota-players.
  4. As a result, the ultimate winner of the tournament may not be able to claim that they are the world champion team as South Africa would have stood a reasonable chance of winning the tournament with a team selected on merit.
  5. It goes without saying that the quota issue itself has a very negative impact on the individual players and the team, and the government interference causes divisions in South African society on a racial basis.
  6. The political impairment of a potential winner may place the credibility of the whole tournament in jeopardy.

We therefore kindly bring the abovementioned under your urgent attention and urge you to take this matter up with the South African government and the South African Rugby Union to ensure that political interference is kept out of rugby.

In the end we still support the current Springbok rugby team and wish to see it participate in the tournament without any further political interference to the best of the teams’ abilities. We would ideally like to see pressure being applied on the South African government to cease any future political interference in rugby and kindly request your assistance herein.

 

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