Drone-gate: Honduras coach cries espionage


Honduras coach Jorge Luis Pinto has accused Australia of an "embarrassing" espionage attempt after a drone hovered over his team's training session ahead of the return leg of their World Cup intercontinental playoff.

Pinto was not a happy man on his first day in Australia and wanted all media removed from the stadium, despite FIFA regulations requiring at least 15 minutes "open for vision".

Spying allegations were directed at the Socceroos on Monday after the Honduran football association caught sight of a drone hovering above their training session at ANZ Stadium. Australia went through the last round of Asian qualifying with just one loss from 10 games, yet still missed out on one of the four direct entries to Russia on goals difference.

A penalty for the visitors was controversially reversed in the 20th minute after Escober collided with Bailey Wright, who had headed over the crossbar, with Argentinian referee Néstor Pitana changing his decision following a consultation with his assistant.

"It just takes some of the merit away from the fair play and the sporting event that will be held tomorrow".

"If I'm on the pitch at the time I'll put my hand up [but] I don't know how it works", he said.

Australia coach Ange Postecoglou said he wasn't getting distracted by the claims, and was focused only on getting the Socceroos to a fourth consecutive World Cup.

Something that is far more certain is Cahill's enduring status as a talisman for Australia, having scored a succession of crucial goals at home and abroad during the past decade and more - including a double that saw off Syria at the previous stage. "There is espionage in football".

The 33-year-old said the high-tech around-the-clock recovery program had him on track to back up.

Both sides failed to convert chances in the opening quarter, with Australia looking shaky early but Honduras failing to convert several promising raids down the Socceroos' flanks.

The team promptly tweeted a video of the small device next to the caption: "Australia spy Honduras training from a drone, which caused upset to the team and Honduran delegation". They were understood to be advised the use of drones was not permitted in Olympic Park.

That should prove the case as it so often does on Australia's home turf, wherever they may be playing.

Should Honduras qualify ahead of Australia, will Aussie hero Tim Cahill retire?

"They definitely won't take them for granted".

Moore and 24.7 million other Australians will hope Honduras' drought starts again.