As part of the 2019 Rugby World Cup qualifiers, the men’s rugby team will face that of Tunisia next Saturday. On their arrival, the Zimbabweans had the surprise of their life, with a frightful reception. Indeed, the team of “Sands” slept under the stars, on the sidewalk.
Arrived on Monday, 2nd July, spent their night on the ground, the passerby that snapped them shared several times the photos.
— Brian Mujati (@MujatiBrewing) July 3, 2018
In 5 days, Zimbabwe will face Tunisia on the occasion of the Africa Gold Cup, to qualify for the Rugby World Cup scheduled in Japan in 2019.
The reaction of the former Minister of Sports on this situation did not perplex the Zimbabweans, especially former Sports Minister David Coltart.
“Our national rugby team, Les Sables, is treated awfully in Tunisia. They have been forced to sleep in the street because the accommodation we have reserved for them is disgusting”,
Zimbabwe’s Sables Rugby Team stuck in Tunisia…😔 Why have we no respect and appreciation for our sportsmen and artists???
They go out there flying the Zim flag high and get very little love at home…we can do better!@zimbabwerugby @ZimbabweSables @edmnangagwa pic.twitter.com/TmPY0aQzoW
— Patience Musa ZIFM (@PatieMusa) July 3, 2018
“When they arrived, they spent six hours at the border and the authorities took their passports claiming that they had to pay visas for 600 euros which they can not afford to pay […] What is the Minister of Sports doing? He asked himself.
Other reactions followed, such as that of Trudy Stevensona, ambassador of Zimbabwe to Senegal and The Gambia: “Please, help our national team! She asked on Twitter.
In addition, a player on the team, Takudzwa Mandiwanza, made some surprising revelations at Capital Radio FM, equating the competition with “mess”.
“During our stay in Kenya [where the team played its first game], we did not receive our daily allowances. Now, here in Tunisia, we were stuck at the airport for six hours and we did not receive any compensation. If it was not our trainer who had bought us sandwiches and some drinks with his own money, we would still be hungry! […] The situation is very frustrating and discouraging,” he said.
For its part, Rugby Africa reassures that the situation was “immediately treated” and that “an acceptable solution was found this morning (Tuesday)”