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Paper says it knows England changing room intruder

sports Updated: Jun 20, 2010 13:41 IST

AP
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A British newspaper says it has identified the fan who confronted England players in the changing room after their poor 0-0 World Cup draw against Algeria left the team in danger of being eliminated.

Western Cape police have said they are looking for the intruder on suspicion of trespass, but The Sunday Mirror printed an interview with a south Londoner named Pavlos Joseph - who says he was directed to the changing room after Friday's match when he asked a security guard where he could find a toilet.

Pavlos, a 32-year-old mortgage adviser of Greek-Cypriot descent, reportedly walked unchallenged into the dressing room at Cape Town's Green Point Stadium and immediately found himself in front of David Beckham.

"I thought, 'what the heck. I'm in the England dressing room. Why not say something?"' the paper quoted Pavlos as saying. "I looked David straight in the eye and said, 'David, we've spent a lot of money getting here. This is a disgrace. What are you going to do about it?'

"I told them, 'that was woeful and not good enough."' Pavlos said neither Beckham, who is injured and with the squad as a team ambassador, nor any of the players responded. The paper said he was then escorted from the room by a FIFA official.

FIFA said Saturday that security will be tightened to prevent a repeat and the local organizing committee said police would study footage from security cameras in an attempt to identify the intruder.

But the paper quotes Pavlos as saying FIFA already knows who he is because he exchanged business cards with the official as he was leaving.

Brigadier Sally de Beer, spokeswoman for the South Africa Police Service, said police had seen the article and would issue a statement at 12:30 p.m. local time (1030 GMT).

Many of the 25,000 England fans in Green Point Stadium jeered the players after Friday's performance, which has been widely criticized as one of the worst of any team at the World Cup.