Roy Hodgson
A shocking twist to England's 2012 European Championship adventure sees the pre-match leak of tactical information and team line-ups to the Swedish FA

In a twist worthy of any spy novel, film or even a real life inquiry, it now transpires that the Swedish national team had inside knowledge - knowledge they were, naturally, not supposed to have, of how England would line-up and the tactics they were likely to use, ahead of the two teams' vital Group D second round clash that finished 3-2 to Roy Hodgson's side, on Friday.

It was perhaps fortunate, for all fans of England (and particularly so for the cause of the leak) Hodgson effected a last minute change, bringing on Arsenal winger Theo Walcott late in the game; the pacy Gunner scored in the 64th minute to bring his side level 2-2 and Manchester United forward Danny Welbeck's back-heel, in the 78th minute, meant England won.

Nevertheless, the leak did happen and could have seriously damaged England's aspirations of progressing further at the 2012 European Championships.

A report in the Daily Mail states the leak was revealed by a Swedish journalist - Ola Billger - working for a newspaper called Svenska Dagbladet and, in a comedy of immense proportions, the leak itself happened because someone in the England camp failed to draw the blind across an open window. Another report, in the Express, states the English have been warned to tighten security after the journalist was able to take photographs and make notes of set piece movement and player marking roles made by Hodgson. The Express indicates the meeting was spied on from the third floor of a hotel in Kiev, Ukraine and the journalist in question was able to look down through a glass roof and eavesdrop into the meeting.

The Daily Mail goes on to add that details of the leak included the plan to start with Liverpool striker Andy Carroll (to exploit Sweden's vulnerability against aerial balls into the box) and the decision to leave 18 year old Gunner Alex Oxlade Chamberlain on the bench.

"I grabbed my binoculars and along with a colleague we were able to watch for about 40 minutes through the skylight," Billger told the Mail on Sunday, adding, "We were not able to hear anything but it was clear England were talking about how to run through the Swedish defence and how Sweden would attack through corners. It was also clear through videos and the tactics board what the lineup would be, with Carroll starting and Oxlade-Chamberlain not."

The blind was eventually closed but not before a significant amount of information was leaked.

"I don't know if it was because they realised we'd been watching. But we had a great story for our paper and, of course, we called the Swedish FA for a comment and shared what we'd found," Billger continued, adding that the Swedish FA tactical director, former international Reine Almqvist, was "very pleased to hear the information, especially about the line-up".

Worse still, a report in The Sun suggests there could have been a second spy! And this one could have actually listened to the tactics meeting!

"It's not nice being spied on and bad form of the Swedes to accept information obtained in such an underhand fashion," a source from within the team later complained. There is no official comment from the English FA though.

Meanwhile, England still need to ensure equalization to the quarterfinals. Hodgson's side is second in Group D with four points and play co-hosts Ukraine on Tuesday. The equation is a simple one - do not lose to Oleg Blokhin's side and they will advance to the next stage.