The new Twitter and video game policy from England’s Football Association (FA) makes the NFL’s restriction on tweeting during games seem like nothing.
The FA, which oversees all professional soccer teams in England, has passed a new disciplinary code prohibiting England players from tweeting 24 hours before a game. The code also requires that players not wear headphones when walking through media coverage zones on game days, and “only use a sensible amount of time playing video or computer games.”
“If someone transgresses in a way that brings the integrity of the team or themselves or the organisation into question, we have the ability to warn them or to suspend them from England,” Club England managing director Adrian Bevington told the BBC.
The new rules, which take effect Nov. 1, specifically prohibit players from tweeting comments about their team management or the opposition. They also encourage players to be role models and “always acknowledge supporters” at games, the BBC added.
“Players representing England are ambassadors for their country and role models for younger players. The highest standards of conduct and behaviour are therefore expected at all times, including when players are not on international duty,” the FA added.
The ban on Twitter comes after Chelsea defender Ashley Cole used a derogatory term on Twitter last week to criticize FA officials and the handling of footballer John Terry’s racism case.
Terry has been accused of calling Queens Park Ranger Anton Ferdinand a “fu**ing black c**t,” among other insults during a match in November 2011.
Cole was docked two weeks’ pay by Chelsea for his tweet and was fined by the FA.