Hodgson warns England team over off-field conduct
LONDON (AP) -- England coach Roy Hodgson will issue his European Championship squad with a code of conduct after warning them not to imitate their rugby counterparts' drunken off-field antics at last year's World Cup.
English Football Association executives have sought advice from the Rugby Football Union to learn lessons from the New Zealand tournament where warnings against overindulgence went unheeded as the players' conduct left the team in turmoil.
While the FA wants to ensure its squad is not caught in similar uncompromising situations, the Euro 2012 base will be in the center of Krakow in Poland after players were unhappy at spending the 2010 World Cup in South Africa at an isolated hotel.
"Adrian (Bevington, the England team managing director) has actually put together a document that we'll take out with them especially in the light of what happened with the England rugby team,'' Hodgson said. "We don't want any repeats of those type of things.''
The most high-profile transgression by the rugby team was by captain Mike Tindall during a five-day break between games in Queenstown, where players attended a bar hosting a themed night featuring dwarf races.
Tindall, who is married to Queen Elizabeth II's granddaughter, was caught on camera in a compromising situation with another woman during a boozy night out with teammates. The veteran player's conduct overshadowed England's World Cup campaign, which ended in the quarterfinals a month later.
Three other England players were also reprimanded for making sexist comments to a hotel worker and center Manu Tuilagi was detained by police after jumping off a ferry in Auckland harbor.
Hodgson knows his footballers will have to act more responsibly when they travel to Krakow at the start of June.
"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,'' Hodgson said. "I'm going to demand that every time you're in a public place then every time you do anything you shouldn't then 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.''
While no Euro 2012 matches are being played in Krakow, fans could still gather in the Polish city to catch a glimpse of the England players, whose first three matches are in co-host Ukraine.
"These are people who've got an incredible public profile,'' said Hodgson, who succeeded Fabio Capello as England coach this month. "They know that every time they take a step outside the front door the eyes of the world are on them. There's cameras everywhere these days - with the mobile phones you can't escape it.''
Hodgson, though, is wary of getting too tough on his players after the remote South Africa base was partially blamed for England's miserable campaign, ended in the last 16 by Germany.
"Imprisoning people isn't the best way of getting the best out of them ... you could say we've gone from extremes,'' Hodgson said.
"Treating people as adults when they are adults is the best way of getting a working relationship with them,'' the former Inter Milan and Liverpool coach added. "We're not at school, we're footballers, we've got the same goal I hope to play well and do well and achieve results for our team and instill discipline.''
Players kicking around a hotel can easily get bored as Hodgson discovered in the United States in 1994 when he coached Switzerland at the World Cup.
"There's a lot of free time during the day so we'll do our best to solve that problem,'' Hodgson said. "It wasn't my decision to go to Krakow but if I was asked would you like the isolated camp or one where there's contact, people can go out, maybe have a cup of coffee ... I'd say give me that any day.
"The Swedes have been very good at that for years. For years and years their mantra has been that we're dealing with intelligent human beings, people who've got the same goal as us, we'll make life as comfortable for them as we can ... I hope it'll go well and if it doesn't we'll learn another lesson.''
Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.