The FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia-New Zealand 2023 is just two games away from the semifinals and final, and the Australian media has been dogged by a “spying” controversy.
The hosts defeated European powerhouse France in a penalty shootout to become the first Asian nation to reach the last four in Australian women’s soccer history.
After Spain’s 2-1 victory over Sweden on Friday to reach their first ever final, the Aussies will face defending champions England in the semifinals at 7 p.m. ET on Saturday.
With the Australian women’s soccer team, affectionately known as “Matilda,” receiving national support, anticipation is high ahead of the semifinal, and the media is in the thick of the action. The Australian Daily Telegraph even flew a “reconnaissance” helicopter over the team’s Sydney training camp. The helicopter captured footage of a closed-door training session and published the photos under the headline “11 lionesses taking on a nation: Welcome to the jungle, lionesses”. The photo shows England coach Sarina Wigman and her staff checking the players’ physical condition.
‘If England think they can fly into a World Cup semi-final unharmed, they are in for a rude shock,’ the Telegraph taunted. ‘We have launched a helicopter to see how our nemesis is preparing. Welcome to the jungle. Lionesses. We have fun and games,’ he added. ‘This may not be in the spirit of football, but after last month’s men’s Ashes cricket series, we expect England, the moral arbiter, to make its own judgment about what is and is not acceptable in the world of sport,’ he continued. The controversial ball-tampering during England’s fifth Test against Australia in the Ashes, which was revisited after England’s victory. Veteran cricketer David Warner tweeted ahead of the semi-final: ‘Good luck Matildas. Keep an eye on England, they might ask you to change the ball,’ along with a sarcastic comment.스포츠토토
While the Football Association has declined to comment on the incident, Australia is in a festive mood ahead of their semifinal against England. Australia’s dramatic run to the quarterfinals has energized a nation that loves its sport and is passionate about its sporting rivalry with England. The women’s soccer semifinal against the European champions is seen as an extension of the Ashes, a cricketing rivalry that dates back to the 1800s. Expectations are high for the hosts, who have already drawn more than 75,000 spectators twice this tournament, to break the record for the largest crowd in a semifinal against England.