‘It’s espionage’ – Honduras coach accuses Australia of spying before match

Jorge Luis Pinto

Honduras are aiming for a fourth appearance at the World Cup finals and their third in a row

Honduras coach Jorge Luis Pinto has accused Australia of “espionage” in the build-up the first leg of their World Cup play-off last Friday.

Pinto says the Australians used a drone to film his team training before their 0-0 draw in San Pedro Sula – and the Honduran Football Association tweeted footage of the alleged incident.

“I think it is embarrassing for such an advanced country,” said Pinto.

The Football Federation Australia denied any involvement.

Pinto attempted to end the training session during the 15 minutes of open media access allowed under Fifa rules, later claiming a reporter had leaked tactical details to the Australians.

“Let’s not be innocent, it’s espionage,” he said. “It takes some of the merit away from the fair play.”

The second leg of the play-off takes place on Wednesday at Sydney’s ANZ Stadium, with Honduras aiming to reach their third consecutive finals and Australia their fourth.

“We are happy with the welcome we have had,” said Pinto. “We need to be aggressive and I’ll be even happier we’re able to go back to Honduras with qualification.”

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