Zimbabwe rugby team sleep on the streets of Tunisia ahead of qualifier

Zimbabwe coach Peter de Villiers SIMON MAINA/AFP/Getty Images

Zimbabwe's rugby team were forced to sleep on the streets of Tunisia ahead of their crucial World Cup qualifier against their host this weekend.

Images have emerged of Zimbabwe players sleeping on a sidewalk, using their bags as pillows and covering themselves with small blankets and jackets. This is allegedly in response to the poor accommodation they were afforded in the North African country.

Reports suggest that the Zimbabwe players, coached by former Springbok boss Peter de Villiers, also haven't received their allowances for the trip, as well as last weekend's away match against Kenya.

Other reports also indicated that the team were held up at the airport for hours when authorities took their passports after they were unable to pay a visa fee.

Zimbabwe flank Takudzwa Mandiwanza told Zimbabwean radio station Capitalk FM that the tour has been a "shambles".

"We have not been paid our daily allowances for our duration in Kenya, including our match fees that we did not receive. Now we're in Tunisia, we were detained at the airport for close to six hours, with no allowances given to us."

He added that De Villiers had bought the players sandwiches and drinks out of his own pocket. "We'd be hungry right now. The situation is very frustrating and disheartening."

Zimbabwe, who last Zimbabwe qualified for the World Cup in 1991, played to a tie with Morocco in their first match of the Rugby Africa Gold Cup, which also doubles as the qualifiers for next year's Rugby World Cup in Japan. They went down 45-36 to Kenya in their previous match.