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Honduras boss hits out at Australia's 'espionage' after spotting drone flying above training as tensions run high ahead of crunch World Cup play-off

  • Jorge Luis Pinto seethed at drone hovering high above Honduras training
  • He believes Australia team were behind it and labelled incident 'espionage'  
  • Socceroos insist device was being operated by a family outside stadium 
  • Pinto said: 'It's an embarrassing incident' and 'There is espionage in football'

Honduras boss Jorge Luis Pinto has accused Australia of 'espionage' after spotting a drone hovering above his side's training session.

Tensions are running high between the two sides ahead of their World Cup inter-confederation play-off with the tie poised at 0-0. 

And Pinto is adamant the hosts used unsporting means to gain an edge ahead of Wednesday's all-important second leg at ANZ Stadium in Sydney.

… 

Jorge Luis Pinto labelled the incident 'embarrassing' ahead of the crucial play-off 

Jorge Luis Pinto labelled the incident 'embarrassing' ahead of the crucial play-off 

The Honduras boss accused Australia of espionage after spotting a drone above training 

The Honduras boss accused Australia of espionage after spotting a drone above training 

Pinto said: 'The incident is embarrassing. For such an advanced country; when Australia went to Honduras they checked every bathroom, every box at the stadium, where they trained and also [where the game was].

'It's an embarrassing incident. The video shows more than anything, what the drone can show. Takes some of the merit away from the fair play of the sporting event.'

The Socceroos insist the unmanned device was operated by a family outside the stadium but Pinto dismissed the claim.   

'Let's not be innocent, there is espionage in football.

Honduras are preparing for the second leg of their fixture with the tie poised at 0-0

Honduras are preparing for the second leg of their fixture with the tie poised at 0-0

The Socceroos maintain that the drone was not operated by anyone working for them 

The Socceroos maintain that the drone was not operated by anyone working for them 

'Just like VAR has made it into football, drones have made their way into espionage,' he added. 

With a place at next year's World Cup on the line and bad blood boiling up between the two sides, Wednesday's clash promises to be a fractious affair. 

Pinto moved to soothe the animosity by remarking that other than the drone incident Honduras have enjoyed the hospitality in Australia.

He concluded: 'We are very happy with our welcome and stay here, we are very comfortable – we are just hoping for a good game… we are facing a balanced side.' 

AUSTRALIA espía entrenamiento oficial de #Honduras desde un dron; lo que ocasionó el malestar del equipo y delegación hondureña. pic.twitter.com/anCAgHtsMP

— FENAFUTH (@FenafuthOrg) November 13, 2017

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Journalist, writer and broadcaster, based in London and Paris, her latest book is Touché: A French Woman's Take on the English. Read more articles from Agnes.

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