Honduras accuses Australia of spying by drone before playoff


SYDNEY (Reuters) – Honduras accused Australia of spying on their training sessions with a drone on Monday, as tensions heated up ahead of Wednesday’s decisive World Cup playoff match.

Football Soccer – 2018 World Cup Qualifiers – Honduras Training – Sydney, Australia – November 13, 2017. Honduras coach Jorge Luis Pinto from Colombia gestures during a training session ahead of their World Cup playoff against Australia. REUTERS/Daniel Munoz

The Honduran National Football Federation (FENAFUTH) posed 18 seconds of footage of a drone flying above Sydney’s Olympic Stadium, where the team trained on Monday after their long flight from central America.

“Australia spied on Honduras’s official training session from a drone, causing discomfort among the Honduran team and delegation,” FENAFUTH said on its Twitter feed.

Honduras face the Socceroos at the same stadium on Wednesday night for the deciding second leg of their intercontinental playoff with the scores level at 0-0 after a tightly fought first leg in San Pedro Sula on Friday.

According to Honduran newspaper La Prensa, Honduras team management sent up drones of their own in 2016 to ensure no unauthorized party was monitoring their training sessions.

Nobody at Football Federation Australia (FFA) was immediately available for comment.

Reporting by Nick Mulvenney and Andrew Downie in Sao Paulo, editing by Ian Ransom

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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