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Government ponders Zimbabwe ban


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The British government is considering banning all Zimbabwean sports people from competing in the UK.

The BBC's Inside Sport programme has learned that this is one option being discussed to prevent Zimbabwe's cricket team touring England next year.

Cricket chiefs have warned that England could lose the rights to host the 2009 World Twenty20 if Zimbabwe are banned.

But Downing Street sources say Prime Minister Gordon Brown wants to take a tough stance against Robert Mugabe.

Denying visas to all Zimbabwe sports people would be a highly controversial decison.

For example, Cara Black could not defend her Wimbledon women's doubles title, Olympic swimming champion Kirsty Coventry would not be able to enter the UK and golfer Nick Price would be unable to play in the Open.

There could also be a knock-on effect for England's World Cup bid for 2018 and for Zimbabwe's competitors at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in 2014.

There would be no issue with the 2012 Olympics, as the government has already had to sign the host city contract that guarantees entry into the country for anybody with International Olympic Committee (IOC) accreditation.

A possible compromise would be to only stop Zimbabwe's cricketers from coming to the United Kingdom, although this would not please the sport's governing body, the International Cricket Council.

Or the government could stop the tour but allow Zimbabwe to compete at the Twenty20 World Cup later in 2009.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has refused to ban Zimbawe despite numerous protests during matches involving the country and a source told the BC there was no chance of it changing its mind.

Tony Blair's government stopped short of banning England's cricketers from touring Zimbabwe, although authorities in Australia and New Zealand have done so with their sides.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is trying to reach a financial compromise with the Zimbabwe Cricket Union (ZCU) to call off next summer's two Test matches and three one-day internationals.

But the ECB does not yet seem to be close to any deal.

The government will want to wait until after the elections in Zimbabwe at the end of March before making a decision.

[BBC]

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Sorry if I should know, but what's the problem with Zimbabwe and why might they be banned?

research zimbabwe's inflation rate, the status of poor people in the country and history of their president and his spending habbits. should paint a nice picture of the current government in that country.

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research zimbabwe's inflation rate, the status of poor people in the country and history of their president and his spending habbits. should paint a nice picture of the current government in that country.

Ah, okay, I thought it had something to do with that but I wasn't sure if it was something else along the lines of the specific sport.

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Ah, okay, I thought it had something to do with that but I wasn't sure if it was something else along the lines of the specific sport.

i was always a supporter that sports and politics shouldn't be mixed. athletes shouldn't suffer because of dumb presidents.

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