NEGLECT ALLEGATION: Tunisia Rugby Fires Back At Zimbabwe
THE Tunisian Rugby Union (TRU) have hit back at the Zimbabwe national team, after online photos emerged of them sleeping on the streets ahead of their Rugby World Cup qualifier.
Pictures posted on social media showed Zimbabwe’s players on the pavements in Tunisia, before their match against their hosts in Beja – about 100km west of Tunisia’s capital Tunis.
The TRU and Rugby Africa issued a statement on Wednesday (NZ time) apologising to the ‘Sables’ for the events that led them to sleeping in the streets, but the TRU have since put out another statement, accusing them of “unethical actions” for complaining about minor things like slow internet and lack of swimming pools.
“The head of the Zimbabwean delegation expressed reservations about the state of the bathroom in one of the rooms, the lack of a swimming pool and the low internet speed,” the Tunisian Rugby Union said a statement.
“He started talking about leaving the hotel on the pretext that it is not decent enough for his team.
“He asked all the members of the delegation to take out their luggage, leave the hotel and spend the night outside on the ground. Unfortunately, local officials have tried to talk and negotiate with the head of delegation, but remained unsuccessful.”
Zimbabwe players were held up at the airport for six hours, after authorities said they had to pay a visa fee of 20 euros (NZ$34) each, but the head of the Zimbabwe delegation declined.
The TRU claimed they informed the Zimbabwe team of the fee last month.
The winners of the African zone will land in the All Blacks’ pool at next year’s Rugby World Cup in Japan. The runners-up will enter a repechage and the winners of that will also face New Zealand in pool play.
Zimbabwe have a draw and a loss in the Africa Gold Cup, while Tunisia have lost their only match so far.