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FA launches security probe after England team bugged

Lancaster Gate-gate

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Reported attempts to sell recordings of conversations between England squad players and coaches have sparked a security breach investigation at the FA.

Media outlets have been offered tapes reportedly made in the Grove Hotel in Hertfordshire where England's squad stayed in the run-up to last week's international friendly against Egypt.

It's unclear how the hours-long recordings were made, much less who made them. Intercepting mobile phone conversations or planting a bugging device are both possibilities.

FA solicitors have written to the media urging them to stay clear of purchasing the illicit recordings or risk breaching Press Complaints Commission rules, the BBC reports.

The incident represents another unwelcome distraction from World Cup preparations for England boss Fabio Capello. Last month revelations that England defender John Terry cheated on his wife with Vanessa Perroncel, the former girlfriend of ex-Chelsea player Wayne Bridge, prompted Capello to step in and strip Terry of the captain's armband.

Bridge later ruled himself out of selection over the affair, a decision that became a serious problem for Capello after first choice left-back Ashley Cole broke his ankle, shortly before his wife Cheryl Cole left him over revelations of a string of extra-marital liaisons. ®

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