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    French soccer team watched by rogue drone at World Cup training base

    French soccer team watched by rogue drone at World Cup training base

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    The French World Cup team apparently had practice interrupted by a drone hovering over its Brazilian playing camp. On June 11th, BFM TV reported that players noticed a small unmanned craft flying over their training session. The Guardian and others echoed that report. According to them, French manager Didier Deschamps complained about the incident, but he said any action is up to FIFA. "Apparently drones are used more and more," Deschamps is quoted as saying. "It's not up to me. FIFA handles this and has been carrying out an inquiry; we don't want any intrusion into our privacy. It's very hard to fight this these days."

    That statement, from a press conference, may not be the whole story. Le Figaro writes that parts of the quote above were mistranslated, making it incorrectly sound like FIFA was officially conducting an investigation or that Deschamps had lodged a formal complaint, a claim made by the Daily Mail. The sentiment of Deschamps' answer, according to Le Figaro, was more that any problems were FIFA's jurisdiction, not that he knew FIFA was investigating. The French Football Federation did not immediately respond to a request for comment, and the closest FIFA appears to have to a public statement is a quote from the Daily Telegraph's Ben Rumsby, saying it isn't in the loop at all.

    Whatever the response after the fact, was this a nefarious attempt to learn France's secrets before the match against Honduras on Sunday? Probably not, although it's hard to gauge Deschamps' opinion through several layers of translation and quotes. A Honduran journalist quickly denied that his country was responsible, but Reuters suggests that Deschamps was skeptical. BFM TV has said that the pilot was arrested within an hour and could be charged with violating the camp's airspace. He supposedly said that he simply wanted to watch training but couldn't make it to the stadium. While "drone" is frequently associated with powerful military surveillance craft, it usually ends up referring to small hobbyist quadcopters with mounted cameras.