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South Korea’s coach has come up with a creative way to confuse a spy from Sweden ahead of the two nations’ Group F World Cup encounter.
After a Swedish spy was recently caught looking in on a closed South Korean training session, and even staked out at a property above their training facility to keep tabs on the latest tactics, the South Koreans clearly had to do something.
In a press conference over the weekend, South Korean coach Shin Tae-yong said members of his team were switching their shirt numbers in training and warm up games to throw off the sneaky pest.
“We switched them around because we didn’t want to show our opponents everything and to try and confuse them,” Tae-yong told ESPN.
“It’s very difficult for Westeners to distinguish between Asians, and that’s why we did that.”
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The coach also attempted to hose down rising tensions between the two sides ahead of their crucial clash on Thursday night.
“All coaches probably feel their opponents are always spying on them,” he said.
“I think it’s perfectly natural that we all try to get as much information on each other as we can.”
Earlier in the week, Sweden coach Janne Andersson apologised to the South Korean team for the antics of his team’s spy.
“It’s very important that we show respect for opponents,” Andersson said.
“If it has been perceived in another way, we apologise.”
Andersson insisted the spy had not realised the training was a closed session.
“He watched from more of a distance as a result,” he said.
Another member of the Swedish coaching staff went into more detail about how their spy managed to look in on the South Korean training, revealing he persuaded a local couple to let him use their hill-top house to look into the facility.
“It took a long car journey up the mountains to reach the house, but it was a perfect spot to observe the Korean team’s training,” Lars Jacobsson, a member of the coaching staff, said.
With Sweden and South Korea both attempting to fight their way out of a competitive Group F headlined by the defending champions, Germany, and the red-hot Mexico team it lost, perhaps you can’t blame either manager for trying to find any possible edge available to them.