FA to meet players over conduct code

The Football Association will take the opportunity of next week's friendly international in Portugal to conduct further meetings with the England squad over the composition of a code of conduct for international players.

Preliminary talks have already taken place between the FA and the England players' committee. So far, said David Davies, the FA's executive director, "the mood is positive".

The negotiations follow the impasse between the governing body and the players after the decision to omit Rio Ferdinand from the England squad following his failure to take a drugs test and subsequent embarrassment surrounding the call-up and expulsion of Alan Smith.

A key figure in the talks will be Trevor Brooking, the FA's recently appointed director of football development, whose brief includes liaising with players. He struck a conciliatory note, saying: "Let's get this game out of the way first."

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