“Croydon remains dull and monotonous, especially in its northern part, much more [urbanised] than the south”, the paper’s Sebastien Coca said.
Croydon Council has defended giving the French rugby team coach a parking ticket – stressing it was not in response to comments made about the town by a French journalist.
Dan Hicks, who plays with London rock band Mordecai, spotted the fine on the bus and took to Twitter, writing: “Welcome to Croydon, Team France!!”
“Because if the place where the French XV are staying is pretty and leafy, this south London suburb is much less so”.
French prop Uini Atonio, taking a selfie with his team-mates, is not happy with the noise at their hotel.
He stated: “This can be a time to rejoice as Croydon transforms itself with the arrival of Westfield and Hammerson, the likes of Boxpark Croydon, a shift in the direction of revolutionary festivals and occasions akin to Ambition held in July and the give attention to tradition and the humanities with galleries reminiscent of RISE opening up to now yr”.
And Les Bleus can add a fresh grievance to their list after a warden last night issued their team bus with a parking ticket.
Nevertheless the knives were out and the Mail even sent a reporter to Croydon in an attempt to take apart the French press’s “sniffy articles” about the place, but instead just seemed to confirm the French journalist might have had a point.
Meanwhile Lionel Rossigneux, spokesman for the French rugby union squad, insisted that the players were “enjoying” Croydon.
Croydon Council said the coach was “parked illegally in a bus stop on a busy main road”.
All in all the build up to the tournament has become a bit of farce.
The Italians are their first World Cup opponents on Sunday morning at 7am (NZ time) and there is already unrest in the French camp.