Spycatcher! FA on the hunt for sneak who breached England security

10 March 2010 12:07
England will step up their security as they attempt to hunt down and identify the culprits behind the illegal bugging of their team hotel in Hertfordshire.

After launching an investigation, the FA will make every effort to avoid a repeat, even though they already enlist the services of top security specialists in an effort to protect manager Fabio Capello and his multi-millionaire footballers.

Lawyers have already been instructed to prevent the illegal tape from being published. 

Breach: Question marks now hang over England security

England were left facing yet more potential disruption to their World Cup plans when it emerged that a six-hour recording of team meetings was in existence.

Last night, FA officials still had no knowledge of who committed what amounts to a serious breach of privacy laws or the contents of the tape.

Speculation remains that the sensitive tape includes Capello discussingtactics with his staff, as well as players talking about private matters thatcould cause some embarrassment to members of Capello's first team, aswell as World Cup bonuses.

The breach took place ahead of last Wednesday's friendly match with Egypt.Yesterday security experts said that England team venues should be swept for listening devices ona regular basis to maintain confidentiality.

Manchester United employ securitypersonnel to conduct regular sweeps of their dressing rooms after they were bugged four years ago, and England have been advised to adopt similar measures. 

On the field: John Terry featured in England's 3-1 win against Egypt

Manager Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed his concern about the news. Listening devices were found in the home dressing room at Old Trafford after a key fixture with Chelsea in 2005 and Ferguson said: 'It happened to us once before.

'I would be concerned about it. You have to be. Preparation involves discretion and secrecy. I haven't revealed one bit of my tactics ahead of the AC Milan match tomorrow.

'I haven't been asked. And do you know why? Because I wouldn't tell anyone.

'Why should I tell anyone? Capello may have been discussing some important issues about his team. All of a sudden someone else has got it. It is a concern.'

SIASS, a private intelligence agency with offices in London,Newcastle and Chester, already carry out similar work for sports teams, companies and foreign governments.

A SIASS spokesman said: 'If they don't already do so, then the people that run the security for England need to sweep for bugs.'They will have a risk-managementstrategy in place but they need really high-tech surveillance counter-measures. 

You're not the only one: Sir Alex Ferguson

'Any listening device can be picked up by a properly trained and experiencedoperator.

'We have worked for sports teams before and their sensitive information can be valuableboth to opponents and to a scurrilous individual wanting to sell a scoop to the newspapers.

'There are a wide range of listeningdevices from long-range microphonesto frequency-hopping transmissionsystems to digital devices but these can all be detected.'

England and other countries at this summer's World Cup have been promised intense surveillance at their hotels with FIFA saying'security services will monitor the floors occupied by the team on a 24-hour basis'.

The Grove, the Hertfordshire hotel where England stay, yesterdayissued a statement denying their security had been breached.

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Source: Daily_Mail

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