'Who votes for that?!'- Lampard bemused after Leeds win FIFA Fair Play award despite Spygate

Frank Lampard Marcelo Bielsa Leeds Derby
The Blues boss isn't pleased to see his former side's rival awarded for Fair Play after admitting to spying on their opponent's training sessions

Frank Lampard said that Leeds United winning a FIFA Best Award for Fair Play was "ironic" as he has criticised the governing body after being involved in the 'Spygate' scandal last season with Derby County.

The Chelsea manager was previewing his upcoming game against Brighton but was asked about Marcelo Bielsa and Leeds players earning the award during the week.

FIFA gave the award to Leeds after they allowed Aston Villa to walk the ball into their net after they scored a controversial goal while an opponent lay injured on the field. However, Bielsa and Leeds were also fined £200,000 for spying on Lampard's session after police in Derby caught a Leeds employee outside the Rams training ground.

Bielsa paid the fine and admitted that he had sent people to watch sessions of each of his Championship rivals. Lampard was angry at the time and he thought that FIFA were wrong to give their award to Leeds and their manager.

“I think everyone had the same reaction because a lot of news was put to Spygate and I think quite rightly so. It got dealt with in the right way so when you go and give an award for fair play in the same year, then I don't think it's right, to be straight,” he told reporters at Cobham Training Centre.

“I did smile. I don’t know who votes for it. Who votes for it? Listen, everyone knows what happened with Spygate is well documented. The rules changed slightly because of it and they were fined. I felt it was improper. I don’t have to say that anymore.

"To get a fair play award off the back of that, I thought it was irony at first. It seemed strange to me. The moment to me it was a dead rubber versus Villa. The ball slowed down to the point of the ball going out it was quite right they allowed Villa to score.

"Quite right to level out the balance of what had happened. That was that. It was a strange decision for them to win that.”

Lampard's Derby would go onto beat Leeds in the Championship Play-Off semi-final but they failed to get promoted after losing the final to Aston Villa.

Following the final, Chelsea tempted Lampard over the summer to come back to Stamford Bridge and manage at the club where he was hugely successful.

Frank Lampard Derby County

Part of Chelsea's thoughts behind hiring Lampard was to help rebuild the club with players from the academy as the Blues are hindered by a FIFA imposed transfer ban.

Lampard ended his last match with a team of outfield players who had an average age of 20.2 in the 7-1 Carabao Cup win over Grimsby Town. That came after Lampard picked Chelsea's youngest line up in the Premier League era against Sheffield United.

The use of youth players and the hiring of club legends like Lampard and others have helped build a more positive atmosphere with the fans. Lampard is happy that supporters are on his side but he has yet to win at home in the league and is determined to bring better results alongside it.

“I don’t want to just extend the honeymoon period on passion and desire, I want to win games," he added. "Everyone knows how I feel about this club, working at Derby last year, I think it is a responsibility as a manager to try and connect the club, the fans behind the scenes and show that and understand that.

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He added: "I bump into them all the time. I live five minutes away. It’s hard not to. I’ve had the same feeling. It’s nice but I don’t want too much sympathy when I don’t win a game. At the end of the day, I get back to work. But it’s nice to see that and feel it.

"Cabbies, people when I walk the dog; people are being very supportive about what we’re trying to do. Again I want to repay that. It’s a bit of a process but I want to repay it quickly. A lot of the fans see that it may take a little bit of time which is really pleasing.

"Here we have work like want it tomorrow. The realities will remain the same and I don’t expect lots of credit because I played for the club for so long or because of what we won in an era gone by. It will be taken away from me slightly and taken to the players as it should be in how they perform; it was only their input. My job is to drive that.”