AND chiefs have been promised round-the-clock protection at this summer’s World Cup amid fresh security fears surrounding the squad.
The Football Association has launched an investigation into how spies were able to plant a bug at the team’s Hertfordshire hotel.
The bug is thought to have been used to illegally eavesdrop on meetings between manager Fabio Capello and his squad ahead of last week’s friendly against Egypt.
But world governing body Fifa has reassured all teams competing in the showcase tournament in South Africa that the hotels they use will have water-tight measures in place.
“The security services will monitor the floors occupied by the team on a 24-hour basis,” says a Fifa report, which adds: “cameras will be installed in the passages of the dedicated floors of the hotel”.
Fifa has also promised that team buses will be routinely searched for explosives before taking them to and from matches.
The discovery of a bug, which is thought to have obtained six hours of sensitive recordings, is a further embarrassment to the England camp, following a series of tabloid stories about prominent players. The episode has, however, won Capello sympathy from Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, who fell victim to a similar scheme in 2005.
“I would be concerned about it. You have to be,” said Ferguson. “Preparation involves discretion and secrecy. Capello may have been discussing some important issues about his team. All of a sudden someone else has got it. It is a concern.”