A spying controversy has engulfed the World Cup as Lionesses’ training session preceding the semi-final against Australia was photographed from a helicopter.
The Australian Daily Telegraph dispatched a helicopter to capture images of the Lionesses’ closed-door training session at their training base in Sydney. The purpose was to document the finalized preparations for the highly anticipated last-four encounter with the co-hosts.
Under the headline “Eleven Poms against a nation: Welcome to the jungle, Lionesses,” the published images depict manager Sarina Wiegman and her coaching team overseeing the players’ training activities in anticipation of the upcoming contest.
Aussie newspaper taunts England after spying on Lionesses’ training
The newspaper wrote: “If England’s Lionesses thought they would happily fly into the World Cup semi-final under the radar they were in for a rude shock.
“We’ve sent the chopper up to see how the old enemy are preparing…Welcome to the jungle, Lionesses, we’ve got fun and games.”
It added: “It might not be in the spirit of football, but after last month’s men’s Ashes cricket series we will let the moral arbiters England pass judgment on what is and isn’t acceptable in the world of sport.”
The Football Association has chosen not to provide a statement regarding the incident. But as the European champions, England will confront a fervently opposed crowd at a fully occupied Stadium Australia, aiming to quash the Matildas’ aspirations of achieving World Cup glory on their native turf.
Moreover, their achievements have rallied a nation that takes immense pleasure in its competitive sporting rivalry with England.
Currently basking in the celebratory atmosphere after retaining the Ashes and securing victory in the Netball World Cup against their traditional adversaries this summer.
Manager Wiegman and her players have brushed aside this aspect of the fixture. However, back in their home country, the recollection of the contentious stumping of Jonny Bairstow by Alex Carey during the second Test at Lord’s lingers fresh in the collective memory.
But this incident triggered jeers and chants of ‘Same old Aussies, always cheating’ throughout the remainder of the series.