England code of conduct bans room service and criticizing others on Twitter, but video games OK

The FA's new code of conduct has been issued to England players and it apparently isn't too far off from what we predicted. Covering everything from respect for hotel staff to leaving the designation of approved mobile phone use areas to the discretion of the manager, the 16-page booklet covers a vast array of topics and leaves plenty of grey area for public debate and FA bungling when it comes to enforcement of the rules.

Players given the booklet have to sign off to acknowledge that it is in their possession and the FA will keep track of who does, so there will be a record of who should know the rules.

The Independent has seen the booklet put together a helpful dos and don'ts list for us (and any England players who find 16 pages too daunting). Here it is...


* Use drugs without doctor's permission

* Disclose confidential information about any aspect of playing for England

* Wear unofficial sportswear from personal endorsements

* Consume alcohol without the express permission of the manager

* Use drugs or banned substances

* Use room service

* Bet on any football matches

* Criticise people on Twitter or Facebook


* Respect opponents, officials and supporters

* Respect culture and traditions of host nations

* Acknowledge the supporters at the end of the game and when on the coach travelling to training and games

* Respect drug-testing officers

* Respect hotel staff

* Be on time for team meetings.

* Use a sensible amount of time playing video or computer games.

Though it might seem cruel, banning room service is probably the only way to prevent Wayne Rooney from going on all-night Toblerone binges. Andy Carroll, meanwhile, will probably be hoping that Roy Hodgson thinks Sex on the Beach is actual intercourse when he constantly asks if he can have it.

The vague "don't criticize people on Twitter or Facebook" could probably use some clarification. Does this prevent Steven Gerrard from offering negative reviews of Julia Roberts movies on Twitter or does it just keep Ashley Cole from insulting the FA in public again?

Another ambiguous area is the allowance of a "sensible amount of time playing video or computer games." It's like something your parents would tell your babysitter before they go out for the night. If this booklet was a little longer, it surely would've added that England footballers can play Grand Theft Auto, but they can't kill any prostitutes and they must obey all in-game traffic laws.