Slow wifi pushes 'fussy' Zimbabwe to the streets
REACTION: The Tunisian rugby federation criticised the Zimbabwean national team for unsporting behaviour after they slept on the street in protest at the hotel in which they were put up.
There was huge uproar around the world as horrific images surfaced on social media of the Zimbabwe national team sleeping on the sidewalk in preparation for their World Cup qualifier.
According to previous reports, Zimbabwe ‘The Sable’ were forced to sleep on the sidewalks as a result of appalling accommodation and a lack of funds.
While it has also been reported that national team were held up for six hours at passport control after Tunisian authorities confiscated passports and demanded that they pay 600 Euros for visas.
— Brian Mujati (@MujatiBrewing) July 3, 2018
Rugby Africa issued an apology, “We would like to reassure the Zimbabwean Ministry of Sports, Zimbabwe Rugby Union, and all partners and fans that the situation was addressed immediately, and an acceptable solution has been found this morning. Tunisia Rugby Union took the Sables management to visit another hotel which was accepted.
“Rugby Africa and Tunisia Rugby Union would like to express their sincere apologies to the Sables team and management for this unfortunate situation. This does not reflect the standards of the Rugby Africa Gold Cup competition and we sincerely regret any prejudice caused,”
After initially apologising, Tunisia have now hit back at the Peter de Villiers fronted Zimbabwe, saying that the rough sleeping was not due to the lack of a hotel, but rather the Zimbabweans complaining the about the state of a bathroom in one of the rooms, the lack of a swimming pool and slow internet speed.
In a lengthy and detailed statement, the Tunisian Rugby Union explained that “the delegation of Zimbabwe started complaining as soon as they arrived,” when the head of the delegation refused to pay the 20 euros per person for entry visas at Tunis airport.
The Tunisians said this resulted in a four-hour delay at the airport on Monday before the head of the delegation was eventually convinced by the chief of Rugby Africa to pay the fees.
According to the statement, “Tunisian federation had previously notified Rugby Africa by letter dated 08/06/2018, informing them of all these procedures that go beyond the federation’s prerogatives and that Rugby Africa had notified the Zimbabwean Federation of visa fees,”
Furthermore, the statement pointed out that after the Zimbabweans arrived at the hotel in the city of Beja, the delegation head “expressed reservations about the state of the bathroom in one of the rooms, the lack of a swimming pool and the low internet speed,”
In protest, the head of the delegation then led the team outside to sleep on the street until dawn when they were transferred to a more prestigious hotel 40 kilometres (25 miles) away.
“Around 23:00, the Zimbabwean team manager expressed reservations about the state of the bathroom in one of the rooms, the lack of a pool and the low internet speed. So, he started talking about leaving the hotel on the pretext that he is not decent,” said the statement.
“The quick intervention of the president and three members of the organizing committee was not enough to calm him down and convince him to spend the rest of the night at the hotel, ensuring that he found solutions the next morning with the possibility to change hotels. Alas, he asked all the members of the delegation to take out their luggage, leave the hotel and spend the night outside on the ground,”
Zimbabwe’s Sables are to play Tunisia on Saturday in Beja, 100km (60 miles) west of Tunis, as part of qualifying for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.
Rugbypass & Agence France-Presse