Ex-Derby County manager Frank Lampard baffled as Leeds United ‘Spygate’ boss Marcelo Bielsa receives Fifa Fair Play award

Frank Lampard admitted his surprise that Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa received a Fifa Fair Play Award this week after the pair were involved in the “Spygate” dispute last season.

Friday, 27th September 2019, 8:47 pm
Frank Lampard was in charge of Derby at the time of 'Spygate' (getty)

Chelsea manager Lampard, who is busy preparing for their match against Brighton, was in charge at Derby County when a Leeds staff member was caught watching Lampard’s training session.

Police were called and Bielsa paid a £200,000 fine handed to his club by the EFL. The manager then admitted he sent spies to watch all his opponents prepare for matches agianst Leeds last season.

Fifa’s award was because Leeds allowed opponents Aston Villa to score after Bielsa’s team scored a controversial goal. Lampard said Fifa’s decision is wrong due to the Spygate scandal.

“I think everyone had the same reaction and quite rightly so. It got dealt with in the right way so when you go and give an award for fair play in the same year, then I don’t think it’s right,” Lampard said.

“I did smile. I don’t know who votes for it. The rules changed slightly because of it and they were fined.

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

“It seemed strange to me. The moment, to me it was a dead ­ rubber versus Villa. The ball slowed down to the point of the ball going out it was quite right they allowed Villa to score.

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

Lampard’s Derby went on to beat Leeds in the Championship Play-Off semi-final but lost the final to Villa.