A much-needed 2-0 win at the Elland Road against rivals Derby County must have reassured the Leeds United fans after successive defeats. But the Friday night tie has given rise to a massive controversy that led to the Football Association opening investigation on the Rams’ lodged ‘spying’ complaint against Leeds (as reported by The Telegraph).
It all started on Thursday morning when Frank Lampard, the Derby boss was forced to stop training once he was made aware of a mysterious person in white clothes who was monitoring his pre-Leeds sessions minutely from inside the training ground. The Derbyshire police were informed to take effective measures who turned up sharply to escort the man out of the field.
The person, suspected as a Leeds staff member, had binoculars, a change of clothes and pliers which the latter might have been used to cut a way into the training ground. This controversy, meanwhile, got refuelled the last night when Marcelo Bielsa, the Leeds boss, acknowledged the allegation of sending a ‘spy’ without club’s awareness to decode Lampard’s strategy before this high-voltage contest.
“Without trying to find a justification, I have been using this kind of practice since the qualifiers for the World Cup with Argentina. It is not illegal, we have been doing it publicly and we talk about it in the press. For some people, it’s the wrong thing to do and for other people, it’s not the wrong thing to do.”
The veteran confessed to Sky Sports before facing the Rams.
Bielsa also admitted having a chat with the former Chelsea great regarding the same. Lampard, however, made the Argentine aware that he did not respect the rules of fair play and opted to lash out at him during the pre-match interview.
“I don’t care if it’s cultural. If possibilities come up to travel later in my career, then when I travel to that country I will find out what the etiquette is in that country and I will abide by it, which I think is a good thing to do in life, not just football.”
Bielsa, lauded as one of the pioneers of the modern day football, has been criticized by the pundits with Jermaine Jenas, the former Spurs midfielder even calling for a point deduction on BBC 5 Live Sport.
Although there is no such rule in the football guidelines, the gaffer should have avoided such a controversy from ethical grounds. The game has evolved a lot over the past decades where the focus on ‘fair play’ is being heavily promoted across the globe. Such antics from a man of Bielsa’s stature is not what we would have hoped for and the iconic Argentine must learn from his mistake irrespective of the consequences he is now tipped to face in the aftermath of the FA’s inquiry.
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