England’s Football Associated has drawn up a new code of conduct for current and prospective members of its national soccer team. The new code aims to clearly spell out the penalties for misbehavior both on and off the field. FA boss David Bernstein stressed that the new rules -- which govern, among other things, use of social media and racial discrimination -- had been in development since January and had no direct link to the recent cases involving Chelsea players John Terry and Ashley Cole.
England's senior squad was presented with the code on Monday night at St. George's Park, the FA’s new national soccer center. Regarding the use of social media, players are allowed to send public messages via Twitter and Facebook, but when they are with England, they must do so in conjunction with the FA’s media officers. They should also avoid criticizing any individuals or organizations when not with the national team.
For his Twitter outburst last Friday, Ashley Cole has been docked two weeks’ pay (around $385,000) by Chelsea, his club, but escaped further punishment by the FA for apologizing in person to Bernstein on Monday night.