"You can't have my lineup! Or my decorative press-conference ball!"
Throughout the World Cup, Uruguay manager Oscar Tabarez has made a practice of announcing his starting XI the day before a match. But that was before the media angered him by pretending to be "war correspondents" and crashing his secret training session ahead of his side's semifinal against the Netherlands. Said Tabarez at his press conference (via the AFP):
"I have no intention of telling you my line-up. We usually do but our plans have changed," he said.
"Our training session was supposed to be behind closed doors as are the FIFA regulations and we assumed this was the agreement between all parties and the journalists."
Hmm, you "assumed" this was the agreement? Maybe that's where the problem lies...
"But some correspondents wanted to play at being war correspondents so information about our team and tactics have been made public.
"They breached the rules. The training session was behind closed doors but some journalists took pictures, filmed it and revealed news."
Imagine that? The media going to lengths to sneak around and publicize things that other people don't want them to. Shocking. This concept of World Cup reporters acting as war correspondents is interesting, though. Maybe Tabarez should round these snoopers up like insurgents and put them in front of a firing squad in the style of a Maradona training session. Nothing like the sting of a Jabulani to the backside to subjugate those pesky war correspondent wannabes.
Photo: Getty Images