Time to boycott SA rugby, says ex-Bok

2016-06-14 09:00
Ockie Oosthuizen (Facebook)

Cape Town - Former Springbok prop Ockie Oosthuizen says the time has come for shareholders, fans and sponsors to boycott South African rugby.

Oosthuizen, 61, played nine Tests for the Springboks between 1981 and 1984. He was also Transvaal's captain.

The former prop was so upset following last Saturday’s first ever home defeat to Ireland that he took to Facebook to write a heartfelt letter.

Saturday’s result was one of the “lowest points ever in SA Rugby’s history”, according to Oosthuizen.

“I was privileged to play for South Africa over a four-year period, even though it was in the apartheid era and time of isolation. But all that mattered to us was to play the game we loved and enjoyed.

“In spite of that, politics had a big influence on the game and we saw the full effects of that during the 1981 tour to New Zealand.

“Since then the game has turned professional and money has played a bigger role. However, in spite of that, politics still dominate the game.

“We have to compete in the highly competitive world of professional rugby against countries who are free of political interference. They are able to at all times compete with their best teams without interference from their governments.

“Furthermore, we have to compete in a highly competitive environment with the rest of the world while there is prescribed to us who we should pick - while at the same time we are expected to compete with the best in the world and win.”

According to Oosthuizen, the top brass at SA Rugby are just there for own personal gain and he has called on the privatisation of the professional arm of rugby.

“The time has come for all stakeholders, like shareholders, players, rugby supporters, sponsors etc. to withdraw their participation, attendance and involvement from the game… until the professional arm is fully privatised and rugby in South Africa is restructured to function just like a public company with the ‘corporate governance’ that goes with it.

“Amateur rugby can be funded by the professional arm and government and that’s where development should take place, not at international level where we have to compete professionally. At that level we have to win at all costs, because that’s all that matters!

“I feel there is only one way in which the message can be conveyed loud and clear to SARU and their media partners and that is an overall boycott, especially at a Test match!

“It will very quickly make SARU, the media and sponsors realise that the game needs to be restructured to adapt to the business norms of the rest of the world and mainly free of political interference!”

READ Oosthuizen's full letter here

Read more on:    springboks  |  rugby

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