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ICC gives Govt green light to call off tour

13 July 2005

ICC gives Govt green light to call off Black Caps tour of Zimbabwe

The Green Party says the International Cricket Council's statement that the New Zealand Government has the right to impose a sporting sanction on Zimbabwe should spell the end of the Black Caps' tour.

ICC President Ehsan Mani released a statement this morning reiterating that the ICC recognises the right of governments to impose sporting sanctions. Mani said, "It is ... recognised that governments will, from time to time, elect to use sporting sanctions as a tool of their foreign policy programmes. Our members accept and expect that where this clear directive is given by a national government, the obligations of the Future Tours Programme will not apply."

"The Government now has no choice but to stop the tour," Green Co-Leader Rod Donald says. "Its only argument for not doing so is that it doesn't have the power. However, the ICC has now made it abundantly clear that it recognises the right of national governments to impose sporting sanctions.

"Where sporting sanctions are imposed, there will be no financial penalty on the cricket board of that country. This is a win-win-win situation. The Government can call off the tour by issuing a directive to NZ Cricket not to go to Zimbabwe, NZ Cricket escapes any financial penalty, and Robert Mugabe is prevented from exploiting New Zealand's good name."

Mr Donald says he would now be astonished if the Government failed to act to stop the tour.

"The Green Party has been urging the Government since April to find any legal means to stop the tour from proceeding. Helen Clark has been handed a 'Get-Out-of-Zimbabwe Free' card by the ICC. It's time for the Prime Minister to play her hand.

"Once NZC is released from its ICC obligations by the imposition of a sporting sanction on Zimbabwe, the Government can focus all its attention on helping to release Zimbabwe from Mugabe's vice-like grip."

ENDS


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