Bengaluru, November 14: As the Road to Russia reaches its business end, things are getting murkier both on and off the pitch.
Ahead of Australia's do-or-die 2018 World Cup play-off tie against Honduras in Sydney on Wednesday (November 15) sparks flew in both camps with visiting coach Jorge Luis Pinto accusing the Socceroos of spying on their training sessions with a drone.
The Honduran National Football Federation (FENAFUTH) posted on Twitter an 18sec footage of a drone flying above Sydney's Olympic Stadium, where the team trained after their long flight from central America.
"Australia spied on Honduras's official training session from a drone, causing discomfort among the Honduran team and delegation," FENAFUTH said on its Twitter feed.
However, the Football Federation Australia (FFA) denied any wrongdoing.
"We weren't involved," said an FFA spokesman.
The matter did not end there. Pinto was also involved in a row with the media at the start of the session when he tried to close training before the 15 minutes of open access allowed under FIFA rules.
"They should show us some respect, we respected them in Honduras so they should show us respect here," he shouted in Spanish at photographers and cameramen.
Colombian Pinto had also suggested on his arrival in Sydney that someone in the Honduran media had leaked tactical details to Australia.
Honduras face the Socceroos at the same stadium on Wednesday night for the deciding second leg of their intercontinental play-off on the Road to Russia with the scores level at 0-0 after a tightly fought first leg in San Pedro Sula on Friday (November 10).
Match begins at 8pm local time (2.30pm IST)