The Football Association has issued a new, wide-ranging code of conduct, that covers everything from what players can say on Twitter, how long they are permitted to play video games and whether they can order room service at team hotels, which will be given to every footballer called up for the national team.
After three tumultuous years in the life of the England team, the 16-page booklet, already in the possession of every member of Roy Hodgson's current squad, reminds players that representing England "is an honour" and they are to avoid anything that could "have an effect on the reputation and integrity of the England team".
The code establishes that the FA can remove the captaincy from a player "in the event that their conduct does not meet standards required". The England captaincy, the code says, is "a privileged position which carries with it additional expectations and responsibilities on and off the field". The captain is "expected to be a role model to the rest of the squad". The section on standards of conduct forbids "violence, abuse and discrimination (of all kinds)" and "use of drugs without the doctor's permission". Less obvious offences include ordering room service in team hotels, which players are forbidden from doing. Computer and video games can be played "for a sensible amount of time" and use of mobile phones in the "meal room, dressing room and on the team bus is at the discretion of the head coach".
Players are required to be respectful of the "culture and traditions" of the countries they visit on international duty and to "respect hotel staff at all times". They are counselled not to react to "verbal provocation from the press or fans" – "however hard it is" – and to wear England branded clothes at all times, "apart from footwear", unless given permission otherwise.
Players are forbidden to criticise team-mates, team staff, referees or officials on Twitter and Facebook. There is also to be no use of Twitter on the day before a game or match day itself.