M. Albert Ferrasse, President of the French Rugby Union, on April 29 announced a personal crusade against apartheid in South Africa.
SV Albert Ferrasse, president of the French Rugby Union outside Elysee Palace, surrounded by journalists.
SV, SCU Ferrasse speaking. (French SOT) (2 SHOTS)
SV Newsmen gathered around Ferrasse. (3 SHOTS)
SCU Ferrasse speaking. (French SOT)
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Background: M. Albert Ferrasse, President of the French Rugby Union, on April 29 announced a personal crusade against apartheid in South Africa. M. Ferrasse made this statement after a meeting with French President Francois Mitterrand in the Elysee Palace. M. Mitterrand's objection stopped a planned French rugby tour of South Africa. Mr. Ferrasse said he was planning a trip to South Africa soon to seek a meeting with Mr. Pieter Botha, the South African Prime Minister and to speak out against apartheid. The tour was cancelled after a request by President Mitterrand on April 20. In a letter to the Rugby Union, he said the reason for his decision was the racial discrimination that affected the people of South Africa and sportsmen in particular. M. Ferrasse said that he was not happy with the president's decision, but was constrained to obey it. A sports tour of South Africa would be a better way of encouraging a change in apartheid than boycotts, he said. Also on April 29, the president of the French National Olympic Committee, M. Nelson Paillou, invited the French government to declare a total economical and sporting boycott of South Africa.