Honduras coach cries espionage — Drone-gate

Ange Postecoglou looking side-on at Sydney Airport

Honduras coach Jorge Luis Pinto launched a scathing attack on the Socceroos, accusing them of spying on his team, saying it was an embarrassment to Australia. "We weren't involved", said a spokesman for Football Federation Australia (FFA).

Tim Cahill has overcome the ankle injury which kept him out of the first-leg of the World Cup qualifier in San Pedro Sula against Honduras.

At stake is a place at soccer's top table for a fourth successive World Cup and another huge shot in the arm for a game that has made huge strides in recent years but still lags behind rugby league and Australian Rules in popularity.

"(When Australia came to Honduras) they checked every bathroom of the stadium to see if we had cameras.

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

"It doesn't mean that not qualifying means that the game somehow ceases to exist, it's more about our continued growth".

Their allegations prompted an immediate investigation from the Sydney Olympic Park Authority (SOPA) whose security personnel, an Australian team official and two Honduran officials drove around the precinct to find the owner.

"Let's not be innocent", he continued.

"Regardless with the incident of the drone and also the possibility of the journalist from Honduras leaking the information regarding our team, I am very happy with the welcome here in Australia", he said.

"The feeling within the camp is that we're ready for a big game tomorrow night and hopefully getting the job done", he said.

Of that trio only Spain will be in Russia next year, and with Italy also failing to reach the finals for the first time since 1958, coach Ange Postecoglou is well aware how costly failure to qualify could be.

"The videos show more than anything a drone can show. Just like VAR [video assistant referee] has made it into football, drones have made their way into espionage", Pinto said.

However, Pinto dismissed the explanation during his pre-match news conference on Tuesday.

Cahill has played 103 matches for his country, and sits just six games behind former Socceroos goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer as the most capped Australian footballer.

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