England players face tough new rules on behaviour

England defenders John Terry and Ashley Cole

The FA is to bring in a new and tougher code of conduct for England footballers.

It comes after Chelsea and England defender Ashley Cole was charged with ‘improper conduct and/or bringing the game into disrepute’ after an outburst against the FA on Twitter.

FA chairman David Bernstein feels the new regulations will make it “crystal clear” where England players stand.

“We’re not going to ban players for life but it will be much clearer to the players, if they offend, what the list of offences potentially are,” Bernstein explained.

The new code of conduct will involve regulations on social media and discrimination. The England senior players were given a presentation on the new rules.

The FA have stressed that they have been developing the new code of conduct from January, and that it is not a direct reaction to the scandals involving Ashley Cole and John Terry. There have been many incidents involving behaviour off the pitch, including Ashley Cole’s rant and Reading‘s Danny Guthrie complaining about being left out of a Premier League match.

Bernstein believes that off-pitch behaviour of players is of vital importance.

“The 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.”

It is believed the code has three different sections, with one involving general conduct, which applies whether the player is or is not with England, one involving behaviour and conduct when a player is with England, and another on how breaches will be handled.