Sweden coach plays down spying allegations


Moscow: Sweden coach Janne Andersson on Sunday played down stories that a member of his coaching staff had spied on the preparations of the South Korea national football team ahead of Monday’s World Cup group F clash.

In quotes to the Swedish media, Lars Jacobsson, a member of the Swedish technical staff appeared to confirm he had used a house with a view of the South Korean training ground in Austria in order to watch Monday’s rivals at work before they travelled to Russia, saying “it took a long car journey up the mountains to reach the house, but it was a perfect spot to observe the Korean team’s training.”

Asked about the spying controversy during Sunday’s pre-game press conference, Andersson refused to answer questions over whether Jacobsson had spied on South Korea using a telescope and a video camera, reported Xinhua news agency.

All he would confirm was that there had been a mix-up over a coach ejected from a closed-door session held by the Koreans.

“He heard about a practice session… He didn’t understand it was a closed session and he was asked to leave, so he watched from more of a distance as a result,” Andersson said.

The Swedish coach insisted that “it’s very important,” that Sweden showed “respect for opponents, always and in every way… If it has been seen in another way, we apologise”.

He said that in general his side preferred to learn information about rivals by watching them play.

“You’re turning something small into something much bigger. You’re making a mountain out of a molehill,” he said.