Chelsea's Frank Lampard hits out at FIFA to reignite 'Spygate' row with Leeds boss Bielsa

Posted Saturday, September 28, 2019 by

Chelsea's Frank Lampard hits out at FIFA to reignite 'Spygate' row with Leeds boss Bielsa
Chelsea's Frank Lampard hits out at FIFA to reignite 'Spygate' row with Leeds boss Bielsa (Image: GETTY)

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has hit out at FIFA's decision to give Leeds United their Fair Play Award this week after his run-in with Marcelo Bielsa last term.

Frank Lampard has slammed FIFA’s decision to hand Leeds United and their manager Marcelo Bielsa their Fair Play Award.

World football’s governing body gave the award to the Championship club at their ceremony this week in Milan.

Argentine Bielsa ordered his team to let Aston Villa score an equaliser at Elland Road in April, after Mateusz Klich had put Leeds ahead while Villa forward Jonathan Kodjia was down injured.

Klich’s goal led to a melee, with Villa's Anwar El Ghazi sent off. When play restarted, Albert Adomah was allowed to run through and level the scores.

But Bielsa was also mired in the 'Spygate' controversy earlier in the campaign when the Leeds manager openly admitted spying on a Derby training session - where Lampard was in charge last season - after a man was apprehended by police outside the Rams’ training ground.

Leeds were fined £200,000 and given a severe reprimand by the EFL.

The Whites won that clash 2-0 though Derby got their revenge in the play-offs, winning 4-3 on aggregate in the semi-finals.

Lampard, now in charge at Chelsea, said last night: “I don't think it's right, to be straight.

“It's strange. Everyone had the same reaction.

“There was a lot of news about ‘SpyGate’ at the time, quite rightly so, and it got dealt with in the right way - and when you go and give an award for fair play in the same year, it’s strange.

“I don’t know who votes for it. Everyone knows what happened with ‘Spygate’ - it is well documented. The rules changed because of it and they were fined.

“I felt it was improper, to get a fair play award off the back of that. I thought it was irony at first.

“It was a dead rubber against Villa. The game had slowed down to the point of the ball going out, and it was quite right they gave Villa the opportunity to score.

“It was quite right to level out the balance of what had happened. That was that. But it was a strange decision for them to win.”

Lampard’s Chelsea are back in action against Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday afternoon while Leeds, who sit top of the Championship, travel to Charlton at the same time.

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