Spygate, or better known this time as “Hotelgate” might have hit the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup and, according to an upset English Football Association (the FA) the U.S. Women’s National Team is the prime suspect.
According to reports by The Guardian, the FA is furious after U.S. team officials were caught wandering around England’s team hotel, wandering into private rooms while the team was at training on Sunday. The U.S. officials were not in any team uniforms when they were being shown around the Fouriére Hotel in Lyon.
England head coach Phil Neville wasn’t happy about the U.S. going around their hotel while the team was away and wasn’t shy to call it out.
“It’s not something I would want my team’s operations doing. England would not do it,” Neville said. “I am happy with our hotel and we were training. I hope they enjoyed our hotel. It is not something we would do, send somebody round, but it is their problem.
“(USWNT head coach) Jill Ellis wouldn’t have been happy and nor would I have been and I am sure she will be dealing with that infrastructure within her discipline.”
Neville added that the incident “will have no bearing on the game.”
“To be honest I found it funny,” he added. “I thought: ‘What are they doing?’ It is not etiquette. It’s not something I would allow from our organization.”
Ellis played down the accusations, saying that she was scouting the hotel as a potential base for the U.S. heading into Sunday’s final, should the U.S. reach it.
“I would assume everybody is doing that,” Ellis said. “You have to plan ahead. The only ones who went were the team administrator and her boss. We don’t worry about that. That’s who the two were.”
She also denied any sort of foul play was involved with the team officials in England’s hotel.
No. 3 England is the highest-ranked FIFA team remaining in the tournament after Sweden upset No. 2 Germany in the quarterfinals over the weekend. The Lionesses have allowed just one goal all tournament, back in their opening match of the group stage against Scotland in the 79th minute. They’re riding a 371-minute shutout streak entering Tuesday’s semifinal.
The USWNT has conceded two goals all tournament, both coming in their knockout stage wins over Spain and France, both of which they won 2-1. They’re still the favorites to win on Tuesday and repeat as Women’s World Cup champions.
Both teams played to a 2-2 draw in last spring’s SheBelievesCup, a tournament that England went on to win.