Representatives from the black African states are to meet next month to discuss the readmission of South Africa to the world of international athletics, an IAAF official said today.
Speaking after a two-day weekend meeting of the International Amateur Athletic Federation Council, the official said South Africa's readmission to the federation will be discussed at a meeting after the African championships in Cairo in October.
"If African countries say 'yes,' we have no problem," he said. "But we are not going to interfere. We just support the meeting."
An IAAF spokesman in London said the Cairo meeting would be followed "as soon as possible" by talks at the IAAF's African headquarters in Senegal, to which the South Africans would also be invited.
South Africa was excluded from the IAAF in 1976, part of the almost total sporting isolation of the country for its apartheid policies.
International Olympic Committee President Juan Antonio Samaranch said last week that South Africa will be readmitted to the Olympics for the 1996 Games--and could even return in time for the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona.
Meanwhile, in Moscow, the Lithuanian soccer team Zalgiris was been ordered not to tour South Africa in accordance with an international ban on sports ties with the racially segregated nation.
Vytautas Dirmeikis, secretary of the Lithuanian soccer union, announced the decision.
"The Zalgiris team will not go to the South African tour," he said. "The final decision to ban its trip was made by the Lithuanian Soccer Union, the Lithuanian National Olympic Committee and the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry on Monday."