South Korea’s coach has admitted that he instructed players to wear different numbered shirts in recent matches to confuse opponents.
Shin Tae-yong said that the move was meant to confuse Westerners, who he claimed can’t tell them apart.
Tottenham forward Son Heung-min and captain Ki Sung-yueng were the only players to wear their regular shirts in recent friendlies against Bolivia and Senegal, according to Shin.
“We switched them around because we didn’t want to show our opponents everything and to try and confuse them,” he said.
“They might know a few of our players but it is very difficult for Westerners to distinguish between Asians and that’s why we did that.
“All coaches probably feel their opponents are always spying on them.
“I think it’s perfectly natural that we all try to get as much information on each other as we can.”
Meanwhile, Sweden manager Janne Andersson has apologised after one of his scouts allegedly spied on a closed South Korea training session.
Andersson defended scout Lasse Jacobsson after he watched the Koreans train in Austria during a recent session.
“He heard about a practice session, he didn’t understand that it was a closed session, he didn’t
understand and he watched from a distance,” said Andersson.
“It’s very important we show respect to all our opponents in all circumstances. If someone could interpret it in another way we regret it.
“It’s been made a mountain out of a molehill.”
Sweden play Korea on Monday in their Group F opener.