The United States and England are embroiled in an extraordinary spying saga on the eve of their World Cup semifinal matchup in Lyon on Tuesday.
The war of words erupted after the U.S. team sent two staff members to scout the hotel in Lyon where the English players are staying, ostensibly, to scout the facility, which is expected to be used by one of the two teams that reach the Women's World Cup Final.
Lionesses boss Phil Neville was incensed and claimed the U.S. had breached etiquette on Sunday, but American goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher rejected his claims today.
The dispute comes as security staff at England's training camp in France had to remove one onlooker who appeared to be spying on their training session this morning. It is not known if that person has any connection to the U.S. team.
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 U.S. insisted the team's staffers were perfectly entitled to look around the opposition's hotel, the five-star Fourviere Hotel in Lyon.
Neville was indignant and suggested U.S. coach Jill Ellis should investigate, given that the Americans visited incognito while England was at practice.
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 was going through its training routine when staff noticed something unusual in the hillside overlooking their practice pitches.
Security staffers came across an individual watching the session from the bushes at England's Terrain d'Honneur Lyon practice ground.
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