England and the United States are embroiled in an extraordinary spying saga on the eve of their crunch Women's World Cup semi-final football match tomorrow.
The war of words erupted after the US team sent two members of staff yesterday to scout the hotel in Lyon where England are staying as a place to stay before the final.
Lionesses boss Phil Neville was incensed and claimed the US had breached etiquette, but American goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher rejected his claims today.
It comes as security staff at England's training base in France had to remove one onlooker who appeared to be spying on their training session this morning.
Lionesses boss Phil Neville (left, pictured yesterday) claimed the US had breached etiquette, but American goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher (right, pictured today) rejected his claims
The US delegation sent two members of staff yesterday to scout the five-star Fourviere Hotel in Lyon, where England are staying, as a place to stay before the final
The US insisted they were perfectly entitled to look around the opposition's hotel, the five-star Fourviere Hotel in Lyon, while the team were occupying it.
Neville was indignant and suggested US coach Jill Ellis should investigate, given that the Americans visited incognito while England were out at training.
But Naeher said in a press conference today: 'I just heard about that five minutes ago before coming in here. That has nothing to do with the game.
'Our managers and operations have scouted out every hotel we've ever stayed in or every potential hotel we stay in, to make sure we've got plan A, plan B, plan C.
'And that's nothing to do with the game. It's just our operations checking all the boxes and preparing for whatever path we take.'
Security staff at England's training base in France had to remove one onlooker who appeared to be spying on their training session this morning
Security staff were sent to investigate and they came across an individual watching the session at their Terrain d'Honneur Lyon base from the bushes
Today, Neville's squad were going through their training routine as normal when staff noticed something unusual in the hillside overlooking their practice pitches.
Security staff were sent to investigate and they came across an individual watching the session at their Terrain d'Honneur Lyon base from the bushes.
In footage posted on Twitter by ITV's Steve Scott, two members of Neville's staff can be looking up at the hill.
It then cuts to an individual wearing white trousers and a blue coat stood among the greenery that overlooks the pitches.
A security official rushes off towards the area in which the person is standing in but can't appear to reach them because of a fence.
The England Women's team are currently staying at the Fourviere Hotel in the centre of Lyon
England boss Phil Neville suggested USA coach Jill Ellis should launch her own investigation
Neville's side take on the three-time world champions in Lyon at 8pm UK time tomorrow after the US ended the hopes of hosts France with a 2-1 win.
The Lionesses booked themselves in for a short stay at the Fourviere Hotel in heart of Lyon ahead of their semi-final with the US tomorrow evening.
Izzy Christiansen believes the United States are 'scared' of England's challenge at the women's World Cup.
The two sides meet in the semi-finals in Lyon on Tuesday with England seeking to upset the current champions and three-times World Cup winners.sonos sonos One (Gen 2) - Voice Controlled Smart Speaker with Amazon Alexa Built-in - Black read more
England have played an exciting brand of football in France and won all five games, including successive 3-0 wins over Cameroon and Norway at the knockout stage.
'I think they (US) are scared,' said Lyon midfielder Christiansen, who missed the tournament after breaking her right leg and damaging ankle ligaments while on international duty at the SheBelieves Cup in March.
'They've got so much history as being the best team, they are winners.
'But I think England's belief is more self-built. We've been through years of winning and losing and now we are in a position where our self-belief is where theirs is.
'That's why I think they are fearing England. It's like having someone breathing down your neck in a marathon race.
'You feel the hot air behind you, and I think that's exactly how the US are feeling now.'
The US also have a 100 per cent record in France and scored 18 goals, including a 13-0 thrashing of Thailand, at the group stage.
But the knockout games have proved far tighter affairs with narrow 2-1 wins over Spain and France, with Megan Rapinoe scoring all four