Chinese spies lurk behind two-way mirror at Women's World Cup
Danish Association chairman Allan Hansen said, ‘It is grotesque that two Chinese men can sit behind a mirror and videotape the Danish women’s team. I am in no doubt that FIFA and the Chinese police know who they are.’
A spokesman for the Chinese football association denied the spying. ‘We heard about this but after an investigation it was found there was no such incident,’ he said.
After a private meeting with Danish officials FIFA announced that the spying was ‘not a sporting matter.’ The Danish press disagreed and demanded answers from president Sepp Blatter.
He replied: ‘This case results from a clear security failure. Measures have been taken and implemented in order that such an incident does not happen again.’
‘Regarding the Olympic Games in Beijing, I do trust that all measures have already been planned by the competent bodies.’
FIFA claimed they couldn’t get the Chinese police to tell them who had been arrested so ‘the episode is between the police and the hotel.’ And that was the end of the matter.
But not for Anne Dot Eggers and two team members. ‘This was ridiculous. Everybody knew it was a sporting matter. Why else were those guys spying on us?’ argued Anne. So they wrote to FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke, asking him to put the harassment their team suffered on the agenda of the FIFA Women’s Committee.
The reply came from Christian Unger. ‘Please note that FIFA cannot reply to matters of such sensitive nature in email form. Given the significance of the concerns raised in your correspondence, we kindly advise you to forward your email to the Danish association so that they may formalise your complaints through the appropriate channels.’
Danish association general secretary Jim Stjerne Hansen backed FIFA and rejected their complaint. The women decided to lodge a complaint with the IOC’s Ethics Commission because of the upcoming Olympics in China and because FIFA president Sepp Blatter, an IOC member, had refused to investigate.
The IOC refused to get involved, referring them to FIFA’s ‘independent Ethics Commission’ and claiming there was no complaint against IOC member Blatter. The women replied, pointing out that Blatter had personally closed the investigation.
The IOC wasn’t listening. It insisted there wasn’t a complaint against Blatter – even though there was – and that FIFA has the jurisdiction – even though it refuses to act.
‘If they can’t give us athletes security at the World Cup in China, what will happen at the Olympics?’ asks Anne. ‘It’s also about equality. If it had happened to a male team, this case wouldn’t have been dead.’
Watch videos of Anne Dot Eggers interview and the spies caught behind the mirror with their cameras.
Read the replies Anne Dot Eggers received from the IOC Ethics Commission:
First reply from the IOC Ethics Commission (dated: 7 May 2008)
Second reply from the IOC Ethics Commission (dated: 19 June 2008)