The coach of England’s women’s soccer team accused the United States team of bad “etiquette” ahead of Tuesday’s highly anticipated World Cup semifinal. The accusation comes after two U.S. team representatives visited the hotel England’s team is staying at, allegedly to scout out new accommodations for the final. USWNT coach Jill Ellis has said the hotel scouting trip was just necessary tournament planning. Ellis added that the two representatives, who reportedly were not wearing team kit at the time, were likely her “administrator... and her boss.” Nevertheless, the incident has touched a nerve in a sport in which teams and coaches are highly sensitive to opposition sides potentially learning anything about their preparations for key games.
“The only thing I would say is it’s not something I would want my team ops person doing,” England coach Phil Neville told reporters on Sunday. “It’s not something that England would do. It’s not an unfair advantage... I actually found it quite funny. I just thought, ‘What are they doing?’ It’s not etiquette really, is it?” The U.S. is the strong favorite to defeat England on Tuesday, although the teams tied when they last met in March. The winner of Tuesday’s game will go on to face either Sweden or the Netherlands in Saturday’s final in Lyon, France.