England introduces code of conduct for errant footballers

FA hopes new guidelines will keep the likes of Ashley Cole in check and bring success

LAST UPDATED AT 10:57 ON Wed 10 Oct 2012

ASHLEY COLE is back in the England fold after he apologised to the FA for calling them a "bunch of twats" on Twitter and it was all smiles and handshakes at the opening of St George's Park yesterday.

But now that the facilities are finally in place to turn England into a world-class football team, the FA has decided it is time to address another stumbling block on the road to international success, the appalling behaviour of its players. And to that end it is to introduce a code of conduct for the stars of the national team.

The strict new rules were explained to the players in a presentation this week.

"It is understood the code encompasses three sections: one on general conduct, applicable whether the player is with England or not; another on conduct and behaviour when players are with England; and a third on how any breach will be dealt with. Sanctions are not laid out in the six-page document but will range from fines to bans and will be decided by the Club England management board," reports The Guardian.

The Daily Mail explains that the code will attempt to stamp out transgressions like Cole's Twitter outburst against the FA and will also come into play if there are allegations of discrimination, including racism, like the one John Terry was recently punished for.

"The FA are following the example set by the England cricket and rugby teams, who have come down hard on stars who step out of line," says The Sun, which points out that Kevin Pietersen and Mike Tindall have both paid the price for their off-field antics in the last year.

FA chairman David Bernstein, who received a personal apology from Cole after his tweet, said: "It certainly gives the players a very clear guide as to what is permissible and that there will be various consequences if they don't abide by it. England players are representing their country, they're role models, their behaviour is incredibly important in respect of everything else we're trying to do." · 

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