England football players are banned from night out during international duty

The FA is looking into claims several players were
out until late on Saturday night after Friday’s 3-0
win over Scotland – less than three days before they
drew 2-2 with Spain in a friendly.
Wayne Rooney apologised after pictures showed
him at a wedding that night.
Meanwhile, the Sun claims up to 10 other players
were at a nightclub drinking until 04:30 GMT on
Sunday.
A statement issued on behalf of England captain
Rooney, who had attended a wedding at the team’s
hotel, said: “Naturally Wayne is sorry that pictures
taken with fans have been published.
“Although it was a day off for the whole squad and
staff, he fully recognises that the images are
inappropriate for someone in his position.”
The FA, whose decision is not prompted purely by
Rooney’s night out, is not expecting to discipline
anyone.
Chief executive Martin Glenn said: “Don’t make a
drama out of it. We are having a proper
investigation into what went on. It’s disappointing.
It’s appropriate that he apologised. It doesn’t set a
great tone for the England captain but I don’t want
to over-dramatise it either.
“Were there FA staff involved? We’re establishing
the facts. We’re talking to people who were there to
find out if anybody from the backroom staff was
involved. Why on earth would you be doing that
given there is a team agreement around alcohol
consumption during camp? There would be
questions asked for sure.
“There’s been a journey. A strict disciplinarian like
Fabio Capello where the players were closeted
away, it was seen not to be a good success. Roy
Hodgson brought a more liberal approach. Roy was
right, let’s treat people like adults.
“The best agreements are when players come up
with their own rules and then work with them. I
think we’re probably in the right ball park. We just
need to have a degree of trust and make sure when
we agree something as a group, we stick to it.”
Glenn added he had no intention of speaking to
Rooney’s Manchester United manager Jose
Mourinho, who was said to be unhappy with the
situation.
England’s players, who will still have free time but
not whole nights off, all reported back at 11:00
GMT on Sunday as they were instructed to, and
attended training in the afternoon.
Legends drank like devils – Klopp
When asked about the Rooney story, Liverpool
manager Jurgen Klopp said he did not see a
problem.
“I feel sorry for the players,” he said. “We live on
the sunny side of life, but in the end maybe it is a
surprise there is a human being behind the kid.
“This generation is the most professional generation
of footballers we have ever had – not only in
England. All the legends you admire, they drank like
devils and smoked like crazy and were still good
players. Nobody does that any more.
“I’ve no idea where Wayne was but I’m pretty sure it
was not that serious.”
‘He’s suffered the consequences of the
social media world’
Scotland and West Brom captain Darren Fletcher
defended his former Manchester United team-mate
in an interview with BBC Radio 5 live.
“The whole situation is very unfortunate,” said the
midfielder, 32. “I hear a lot about how professional
footballers are detached from the public and they
don’t mingle any more. This circumstance shows
why professionals are scared to do it. He’s suffered
the consequences of the social media world we live
in. Players will be even more guarded now.
“People plaster you all over social media when
you’re kind enough to take pictures with fans.
“He holds his hands up. It’s been blown out of
proportion. That’s not me defending my friend,
Wayne Rooney, that’s me defending most
footballers who like to let their hair down. He’s
made a mistake but a genuine one in terms of
trying to give a bit of time to fans when he was a
bit worse for wear.
“He’s the most down to earth guy you’ll ever meet.
If he gets the chance to socialise with normal
people and his guard is down, he’s probably let the
guard down too far. He’s almost been too
approachable and down to earth.”
The rugby view – ‘As soon as we start making
rules, we have an issue’
England’s rugby union coach Eddie Jones appeared
to criticise the football set-up when asked about
the situation.
“The time we have a curfew is the time we don’t
have a leadership group in the team,” he said. “They
are adults. The guys will come back, have a beer
and decide when they go to bed.”
Rooney’s rugby counterpart, England captain Dylan
Hartley, agreed with his boss.
“The guys are all adults,” said Hartley. “We come
back here as a team afterwards, we have recovery
on a Sunday and a big Test match to prepare for.
“As soon as we start making rules we have an
issue. It is about individual responsibility. I’m not
sure about other teams but that’s what we do here.”
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