Zimbabwe’s national rugby team slept on the streets in Tunisia after being offered accommodation in a “disgusting” hotel before a World Cup qualifier match.
Photographs showed players lying on a pavement wearing blankets and surrounded by their luggage ahead of the Africa Gold Cup match against Tunisia in Monastir on Saturday.
“Our national rugby team the Sables are being treated in the most appalling way in Tunisia,” former sports minister David Coltart posted on his Facebook account. “They have been forced to sleep on the streets as the accommodation they were provided with is disgusting.”
Coltart also added that players had been held up at customs for six hours as they did not have money to pay for visas.
Zimbabwe National Rugby Team players slept in the street last night in Tunisia ahead of a @rugbyworldcup qualifier on Saturday against Tunisia.
Before that, they were held at the Airport for 6 hours as they could not raise €600 for Visa processing. pic.twitter.com/EoQBMPv2AI
— Defensive Presenter (@EricNjiiru) July 3, 2018
The Rugby Africa governing body have apologised for the team’s treatment.
“Rugby Africa and Tunisia Rugby Union would like to express their sincere apologies to the Sables team and management for this unfortunate situation,” it said in a statement. “This does not reflect the standards of the Rugby Africa Gold Cup competition.”
Zimbabwe are scheduled to face Tunisia in Monastir on Saturday. The winner of the Africa Gold Cup tournament will qualify for the World Cup in Japan in 2019.
© Agence France-Presse (Additional edits from Marisa Kennedy).