NZ Cricket won't cancel Zimbabwe tour - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

NZ Cricket won't cancel Zimbabwe tour

01/07/2005 03:49:43 PM Comments (0)

New Zealand Cricket will not cancel its August tour of Zimbabwe but the government is asking players to do other things to protest the Mugabe regime, says Foreign Affairs Minister Phil Goff.

Goff said he had an "amicable" discussion with NZC chief executive Martin Sneddon and the pair had agreed to meet again next week.

"I don't think that they will take the decision to cancel because of the pressures that exist on them," Goff said.

He had asked Snedden that if the cricketers felt compelled to tour, whether they could look at other ways of protesting against the regime of President Robert Mugabe.

Such protest might include an Amnesty International suggestion of wearing black arm bands - as the Zimbabwean cricket team had done against its own government.

"He (Snedden) said that they would think about that but the security of their own players would have to be paramount in any decision," Goff said.

"He has picked up the suggestion I made to him some months ago about ensuring that the team's presence in Zimbabwe would not be exploited by Mugabe. In the same way that the English team had indicated any attempt by Mugabe to do so would result in a walk off by the English players. He says that he has received an assurance along those lines. So that's a small victory," Goff said.

"He understands where the New Zealand Government is coming from and also, I guess, the strength of public opinion in New Zealand about what is happening in Zimbabwe."

Snedden had made his case over the "almost impossible position" that NZC was in, Goff said.

The financial penalties NZC could face could potentially involve tens of millions of dollars.

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