zim rugby players on pavement in tunis - tunisia accepts responsibility and apologises

Reports have emerged that Zimbabwe rugby players were made to sleep in the streets of Tunisia during their preparations of the Rugby World Cup Qualifiers on Monday night.

The Sables are in Tunisia for the Africa Gold Cup match, the tournament which will decide who will play in next year’s Rugby World. The plight of the Sables came to light after David Coltart confirmed the veracity of the pictures that were doing rounds social media.

Tunisia Rugby Union has since offered an apology over this whole scenario.

Khaled Babbou, executive member of Rugby Africa, apologised on behalf of the hosts and said the Sables have now been provided with alternative accommodation.

“I apologise on behalf of Tunisia Rugby Union,” Babbou said in a Rugby Arica press release on Tuesday. “We pride ourselves in hosting Rugby Africa tournaments every year and make every effort to meet the best international standards in terms of accommodation and other infrastructure. Something went wrong for which I am sorry, but this was corrected this morning in consultation with the Sables management team. I can assure you that there was absolutely no intention to destabilise our opponents and we will make every possible effort to ensure they have a good preparation ahead of Saturday’s match”.

And the issue seems to be the fact (we don’t know how solid a fact it is) that the first hotel which the Zim rugby players were supposed to be in did not meet the accommodation standards outlined in the hosting agreement which was signed by the six participating unions in the Gold Cup.

“We rely on our unions to make sure the requirements are met and it is unfortunate that it seemed not to be the case with this hotel in Tunisia,”  Abdelaziz Bougja, President of Rugby Africa, revealed.

“However Tunisia Rugby Union has our trust, they are long-term partners to Rugby Africa, hosting several matches and tournaments on our behalf every year, I know for a fact that hospitality matters to them and they have taken this issue very seriously and are rectifying it.  Player welfare is at the heart of our preoccupations so we are not taking this lightly.  We wish both teams the best for Saturday’s game. The Gold Cup has been a huge success so far, helping to raise standards of African rugby, and popularity of the Game, we would like to thank the six teams, six hosting unions, ministries of sports, our broadcaster Kwese Sports and all our partners and sponsors for their support and assistance.”


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