INDEPENDENT NEWS

Push to Move Cricket Matches From Zimbabwe

Published: Wed 1 Jan 2003 05:16 PM
Request for push to move Cricket World Cup matches from Zimbabwe
Foreign Minister Phil Goff confirmed today that he has asked the New Zealand Cricket Board to consider requesting the International Cricket Council to transfer the six World Cup matches currently scheduled to take place in Zimbabwe to other venues.
“Developments in Zimbabwe had led to the Commonwealth suspending Zimbabwe from its Councils because of concerns about abuses of human rights and of the rule of law and democracy that the regime under President Mugabe continues to commit. These abuses were linked to President Mugabe’s survival.
“For more than a year the Government has been concerned with internal security in Zimbabwe. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) travel advisory has for some time recommended that New Zealanders avoid travelling there.
“There is no permanent MFAT presence on the ground in Harare and there is limited assistance which could be offered to New Zealanders who encountered difficulty while travelling in Zimbabwe.
“I have raised the issue with the New Zealand Cricket Board because I am working closely with like-minded Governments who wish to see an end to human rights abuses and a flouting of Zimbabwe law by the Mugabe regime.
“There is a collective desire that nothing should be done to give comfort to the regime or to acknowledge that what is happening in Zimbabwe is in any sense acceptable.
“Our objective in seeking support from the international cricket community to move its fixtures from Zimbabwe is to make clear to President Mugabe that the whole international community views his actions as completely unacceptable,” Mr Goff said.

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