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Tuesday, 17 October 1972
Page: 1563

Senator MULVIHILL - I direct a question to the Leader of the Government in the Senate. In view of the shower of missiles and generally unpopular reception accorded to the Australian soccer team in its week-end game scheduled in Saigon, does the Minister believe that notwithstanding our military and civil aid contributions to South Vietnam we have created an image for Australia of an Asian liberator or that we are regarded as foreign policemen?

Senator Sir KENNETH ANDERSON - I think this goes back to a debate we had in the Senate a long time ago. I always have maintained that the association of sport and politics is a bad mix. I know that I was assailed for saying that on an occasion when we were dealing with another matter, but I still maintain that view. I believe that in the long run the good that will stem from sport is profound and that it will overrun any difficulties concerning nationalism which sometimes arise when sport is played. Perhaps I can move to an area closer to home. In Australia when the souths team plays the norths team, the norths team thinks that the souths team is not so good and the south's team thinks the north's team is not so good. If I may digress a little, I did see on television recently a game that is played in Victoria. Whilst I do not have much regard for the game, I thoroughly enjoyed it.I really do not think that we should inject politics into this tour. Anyway, I note that the Australians have been winning.

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