The French rugby team's stay in Croydon for the World Cup did not begin smoothly, with a rowdy wedding reception disrupting the players' sleep and a Parisian journalist branding the town "sad and grey".

And Les Bleus can add a fresh grievance to their list after a warden last night issued their team bus with a parking ticket.

The bus was parked at a bus stop outside Mediterranean restaurant Apatura in South End while players ate nearby.

The warden was spotted dishing out a fine by Dan Hicks, singer and guitarist in Croydon band Mordecai, at about 9.30pm yesterday.

He said: "Rode past on my motorbike and saw the bus had the French team name/initials on the side and saw the ticket inspector. The opportunity was too good to miss so I turned around to get the photo.

"I found it hilarious! Teach them for saying those things about Croydon!"

The squad enjoyed a meal at nearby French restaurant Brasserie Vacherin last night, according to its chef Malcolm John.

A spokesman for Croydon Council said: "Despite appearances, this is not Croydon’s revenge for disparaging remarks allegedly made about the town by a French rugby journalist earlier this week. 

"The fact of the matter is that the coach was parked illegally in a bus stop on a busy main road." 

The French team, who kick off their World Cup campaign against Italy on Saturday, are staying at Selsdon Park Hotel during the tournament.

Prop Uini Atonio complained that a rowdy wedding party had ruined his first night's sleep at the luxury four-star mansion last week, although the squad remained tight-lipped about the quality of shut-eye after being approached by the Croydon Guardian on Monday.

But the French enjoyed a warm reception from their hosts Trinity School, in Shirley, where the team are training during the tournament.

The school's boys choir gave the players a rousing rendition of World in Union, the rugby World Cup's theme song, at an opening ceremony in Greenwich on Monday.