South Africa considers new laws to curb racism in sports

Johannesburg- South Africa (PANA) -- South Africa's Sports Minister Ngconde Balfour has disclosed that government is considering introducing new laws to force the selection of more blacks in national teams.
Balfour told parliament Tuesday that the country could no longer rely on the goodwill of coaches to include more blacks in their teams.
"Transformation can longer be left to the goodwill of individuals .
.
.
we have got to a point where we are not going to allow coaches and selectors to just decide what they want to do," he said.
Balfour said he would be meeting with national sporting federations to consider targets in the transformation phase.
Nearly all major national teams of different sports in South Africa are caught up with the problem of having to include more blacks in their sides.
The Springboks national rugby team has been under the spotlight because the team normally fields one or two black players.
Cricket has recently also come under criticism over the number of black players in the team.
The Australian tour was marred by a race row between South African selectors over a black player who was included in the team at the eleventh hour.
More recently the South African soccer team's camp, while in Mali during the African Cup of Nations finals, was reportedly plagued by allegations of racism in the selection of players.
Bafana Bafana black players complained that coach Carlos Queiroz was favouring white and coloured players.
At times there were only three black players in the team.
Last year South African men's hockey team lost its national status because it was made up of white players only.
Some sporting codes have introduced the quota system, which compels teams to include a small number of blacks.
Provincial rugby teams require that there are two black players per team.
In some cases coaches and selectors claim that there are not enough black players available for selection.
Balfour said he was not going to tolerate the quota system any more and expected real changes in sport.
He said television coverage of sports would also be scrutinised so that national sports could be accessible to ordinary people on free-to-air channels.

12 february 2002 21:15:00




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