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By ESPN Staff

SFA play down 'spy' claim

The Scottish Football Association have played down reports that a 'spy' filmed their latest training session ahead of Saturday's Euro 2008 clash with Italy.

A newspaper photographer captured images of a red-haired man apparently making a video of the players being put through their paces in Dumbarton.

He was quickly moved on after SFA staff were alerted to his presence, standing on top of a van to gain a good vantage point.

A spokesman for the SFA dismissed suggestions the observer had been working on behalf of the Italians.

He said: 'The session continued and ended as planned. There was no curtailment or abandonment of the session.

'There were a couple of guys working over the other side of the fence.

'They were actually from a car washing company, and neither of them were Italian.

'One of the men from the backroom staff spoke with them and confirmed they were not Italian.

'Our training session finished as normal, in fact our guys waved to them as they left.'

Scotland manager McLeish told the Daily Record: 'Don't worry, no secrets got out. We spotted some guys watching the session and, as it was supposed to be a closed-doors session, we simply weren't very happy about it.

'One of them was wearing sunglasses, a hooded jacket and holding a camera. we didn't think it was right so we told the players to stop and to give the guy a wave.'

He added: 'If it is the case the guy was sent to spy on us we would take that as a compliment.'


• US-based users will be able to watch the match LIVE on (ESPN 360