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Phil Neville questions USA’s ‘etiquette’ over hotel visit

Phil Neville has described United States team staff visiting England’s hotel ahead of the Women’s World Cup semi-final between the sides as “not etiquette”.

Lionesses boss Neville has stressed “it’s not something that England would do”, while also saying the incident is “not a concern”.

PA understands at least one member of the US team’s staff was in England’s hotel on Sunday while Neville and his players were out training.

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Neville’s side face the holders on Tuesday at Lyon’s Groupama Stadium, which is also the venue for the final five days later.

When asked about the incident, Neville said at his pre-match conference: “It’s not a concern.

“The only thing I would say is it’s not something that I would want my team ops person doing.

“It’s not something that England would do. We’re happy with our hotel. We were training. So I hope they enjoyed the hotel, but it is not something that we’d do, send somebody round to another team’s hotel.

“But it’s their problem. I’m sure that Jill (Ellis, the USA boss) probably wouldn’t have been happy with that arrangement; I wouldn’t have been if that was my team ops person going round, and I’m sure that she will be dealing with their infrastructure within their own discipline, probably.

“It’s not an unfair advantage. It’ll have no bearing on the game. I actually found it quite funny. I just thought ‘what are they doing?’ It’s not etiquette really, is it?

“I just think that’s not something I would allow from our organisation.”

At her press conference prior to Neville’s, Ellis was asked if she could explain why staff had gone to the hotel, and whether looking at it as a place the team could potentially stay if they reached the final was a sign of arrogance.

USA head coach Jill Ellis played down the incident

USA head coach Jill Ellis played down the incident (Nick Potts/PA)

Ellis said: “I would assume everybody is doing that, you have to plan ahead.

“The only two people that think of planning ahead on my team is my administrator, because she has to book all the flights and everything and do all that stuff, and her boss, and everybody else, we don’t worry about that. So that’s probably who the two people were.

“I think that’s important, to do your job. So in terms of arrogance, I think that’s got nothing to do with us. That’s planning and preparation for our staff. So I think that’s pretty normal.

“I had no idea where we were headed and where we were going, I didn’t even know how we were going to get here yesterday. They think of that so we don’t have to.”