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Government may ban tour
10 May 2007
By: Zac Gelman

The Australian Government is looking for legal avenues to bar Australia's tour to Zimbabwe later this year.

Foreign Minister Alexander Downer told the media today that the government did not want the tour going ahead and would look at legal measures that would stop the tour from taking place.

"We don't want the tour to go ahead, and so we explained to them that we are going to explore legal options whereby we may be able to stop it. I'm not sure it's going to work, but we are exploring those options," Mr. Downer told the media after a meeting with Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers' Association.

"Personally, I don't want the tour to go ahead, but I don't want Cricket Australia or I don't want, particularly, the cricketers to be put in an embarrassing position if that's at all avoidable."

The debate over whether the Australian players should tour Zimbabwe heated up today when the Australian Catholics Bishops urged Australia to boycott the tour on moral grounds at today's Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference.

"We support recent calls for the Australian cricket team to withdraw from its upcoming tour of Zimbabwe and believe that this would be a significant symbolic stance against the oppressive regime in that country," ACBC president Philip Wilson said in a statement.

"That innocent families and communities, already afflicted by poverty and hardship, have been tormented under mass evictions and political persecutions can no longer be tolerated by the world community."

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