South African Rugby team is promised visas for US

The US Embassy said visas would be issued for South Africa's national Rugby team to make a controversial visit to the United States. The South African team , the Springboks, are due to play three matches in the United States after a New Zealand tour.

A US Embassy spokesman said the State Departmnet had authorized visas for 30 players and team officials. Asked if this was a departure from policy, the spokesman said it was not US policy to interfere in private sports exchanges between South African and American sporting bodies.

Meanwhile, in Christchurch, New Zealand, four men arrested while protesting the Springboks' New Zealand tour went into the fifth day of a hunger strike Monday as relations between police and anti-tour groups worsened. The four were arrested last Wednesday after chaining themselves to scaffolding outside Rugby Union offices, smearing walls, and burning New Ze aland and South African flags.

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