Chien-Ming WangThe World Baseball Classic nearly caused an international incident.

The Chinese Professional Baseball League — the governing body of Taiwan’s baseball endeavors — apologized via email to the Korean Baseball Organization according to a report from the Yonhap News Agency. Four scouts from Taiwan posed as umpires and gained access to a South Korean scrimmage at Douliu Baseball Stadium.

South Korea and Taiwan (designated as Chinese Taipei for the tournament by the People’s Republic of China) are matched up in Group B in the opening round of the World Baseball Classic. The two squads are scheduled to face each other in Taichung on March 5.

The scouts gained access to the umpire’s locker room by saying they were trainees. However, they aroused suspicions when they began timing the deliveries of the Korean pitchers, and were swiftly ejected from the stadium.

Despite apologizing, the CPBO has disavowed any conduct on the part of the scouts, saying that their actions were not condoned or approved.

Photo via Flickr/Keith Allison