Experts tell England to carry out bug sweeps

Hotel where secret tape recorded 'surprised' by the breakdown in security

England officials have been warned to sweep team venues for listening devices on a regular basis to avoid being bugged. It is understood the Football Association are reviewing security procedures after a secret recording of conversations between England players and coaches before the Egypt friendly came to light.

Manchester United employ security personnel to conduct regular sweeps of their dressing rooms after they were bugged four years ago, and England have been told by experts to adopt similar measures.

The FA have yet to make a complaint to the police about the bugging, reportedly at The Grove hotel in Hertfordshire, because they are still waiting to have access to the recording.

They have, however, taken legal steps to ensure the conversations remain under wraps. SIASS, a private intelligence agency with offices in London, Newcastle and Chester who work for sports teams, companies and foreign governments, said the FA need to organise regular sweeps for bugs.

A SIASS spokesman said: "If they don't already do so, then the people that run the security for England need to sweep for bugs. They will have a risk-management strategy in place but they need really high-tech surveillance counter-measures. Any listening device can be picked up by a properly trained and experienced operator. We have worked for sports teams before and their sensitive information can be valuable both to opponents and to a scurrilous individual wanting to sell a scoop to the newspapers.

"There are a wide range of listening devices from long-range microphones to frequency-hopping transmission systems to digital devices – but these can all be detected."

Discussions involving England manager Fabio Capello and the squad are understood to have been secretly taped ahead of last Wednesday's match. Although they have not officially commented, the FA's lawyers have contacted media organisations warning that publication of the contents of the recording would be illegal and a breach of the Data Protection Act and Press Complaints Commission rules.

The secret recording is yet another unwelcome issue for Capello to be faced with in the build-up to the World Cup after the England coach was forced to replace John Terry as captain following revelations about the Chelsea defender's private life.

A spokesman for The Grove hotel expressed surprise, saying: "We have been hosting England for three or four years and provide a very high level of security. They also bring their own security team. It would surprise me if they had been bugged here."

Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted news the England team has been bugged was a concern. Ferguson and Manchester United were at the centre of a similar controversy in 2005 when listening devices were found in the home dressing room at Old Trafford after a key encounter with Chelsea.

"It happened to us once before," he said. "I would be concerned about it. You have to be. Preparation involves discretion and secrecy. I haven't revealed one bit of my tactics ahead of the match tomorrow. I haven't been asked. And do you know why? Because I wouldn't tell anyone.

"Why should I tell anyone? Capello may have been discussing some important issues about his team. All of a sudden someone else has got it. It is a concern."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot