London

French Rugby World Cup team bus gets parking ticket

Dan Hicks Tweet Image copyright Dan Hicks/PA
Image caption Dan Hicks tweeted a picture of a parking attendant with the vehicle at a bus stop

A bus carrying the French rugby union squad has been issued with a ticket by a traffic warden during the team's stay in south London.

Les Bleus are staying at Selsdon Park Hotel, in Croydon, during the Rugby World Cup, which starts on Friday.

Croydon Council said the coach was "parked illegally in a bus stop on a busy main road".

Dan Hicks tweeted the picture, along with the words: "Welcome to Croydon, Team France!! #ParkingTicket".

He said: "I rode past on my motorbike and saw the bus had the French team name and initials on the side and saw the ticket inspector.

"The opportunity was too good to miss so I turned around to get the photo."

A spokesman for the French national side said he was "not aware" of the incident, which reportedly took place outside a restaurant on Wednesday evening.

However, he confirmed the players had been out for dinner at the time.

Image copyright Dan Hicks/PA
Image caption Croydon Council said the ticket was not revenge for unfavourable comments made about the town in the French press
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Les Bleus are staying at Selsdon Park Hotel, in Croydon, during the Rugby World Cup

There were reports French prop Uini Atonio had complained about a rowdy wedding reception at the team's hotel kept him up all night, while French newspaper MetroNews described Croydon as "sad" and claimed the town had not made the headlines since the 2011 riots.

A Croydon Council spokeswoman added the ticket was not "Croydon's revenge for disparaging remarks allegedly made about the town".

Lionel Rossigneux, spokesman for the French rugby union squad, insisted that the players were enjoying Croydon.

He said: "Everything is fine. We are enjoying the place.

"The hotel is great. All the staff are very dedicated to the team. It's quiet which is exactly what we need for the team."

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