Derby County manager Frank Lampard

Lampard slams FIFA for handing Leeds and Bielsa Fair Play award

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has questioned FIFA’s decision to hand Marcelo Bielsa and Leeds their Fair Play award.

The Argentine manager and Leeds were awarded the honour for allowing Aston Villa to score against them during a high stakes Championship encounter in April.

Angry scenes broke out last season after Leeds midfielder Mateusz Klich scored whilst Villa forward Jonathan Kodjia lay injured on the floor, prompting Bielsa to instruct his players to allow their opponents to run through unopposed and equalise at Elland Road.

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has however questioned FIFA’s decision to hand Bielsa the award, with the Leeds boss having openly admitted to watching his opponents train in a much-publicised ‘Spygate’ scandal.

Derby County – where Lampard was in charge last season – were one of the opponents Bielsa admitted to spying on, a revelation that saw Leeds subsequently fined £200,000.

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Speaking on the award, as reported in the Mirror, Lampard said: “I don’t think it’s right, to be straight.

“It’s strange. Everyone had the same reaction. There was a lot of news about “SpyGate,” at the time, quite rightly so, and it got dealt with in the right way – and when you go and give an award for fair play in the same year, it’s strange.

“I don’t know who votes for it. Everyone knows what happened with “Spygate” – it is well documented. The rules changed because of it and they were fined.

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

“It was a dead rubber against Villa. The game had slowed down to the point of the ball going out, and it was quite right they gave Villa the opportunity to score.

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

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