The England manager, Roy Hodgson, has warned the squad selected for this summer's European Championship that anyone misbehaving in public like their rugby union counterparts in last autumn's World Cup will not play for him again. When the players meet up, in two stages over the next 10 days, they will be given guidelines worked out by the chief executive of Club England, Adrian Bevington, which are deemed necessary because they will be staying in the middle of Krakow, rather in the isolation of the usual rural retreats.
There are no matches in the Polish city but it will have a fan park, and players will have more contact with the public than at previous tournaments. Hodgson said: "My message will be a very simple one. Not only do I expect you to behave as adults, I'm going to demand that you behave as adults and every time you're in a public place and do anything you shouldn't, you're not just letting yourself down, you're letting us all down because unfortunately the criticism will pile upon us all. So it's a big responsibility and if there's anybody here who can't take that responsibility then he's not going to play a big part in my thinking in the future."
A number of England's rugby squad in New Zealand received criticism for drunken antics of the sort the footballers have managed to avoid since the infamous "dentist's chair" episode in Hong Kong before Euro 96.
"These are people who've got an incredible public profile," Hodgson said. "I think they're fully aware of their responsibilities. I won't be hesitant in pointing them out and Adrian has put together a document that we'll take out with them in the light of what happened with the England rugby team. We don't want any repeats of those type of things."
Although the decision to stay in a city-centre hotel was taken before Hodgson was appointed in succession to Fabio Capello, he is in favour of it and believes the players will be too after many complained of boredom at the World Cup in South Africa.
Following cancellation of a proposed training trip to Malaga this week, most of the squad will meet up in Manchester on Wednesday to prepare for Saturday's friendly in Norway. The Chelsea players involved in last night's Champions' League final will be excused until Tuesday week, as will Wayne Rooney, who is suspended for the first two games of the tournament and has been carrying a minor injury.
"That needed a couple of weeks to really clear up and I think he'll benefit from the rest," Hodgson said.