Belfast Telegraph

England players' nights off are at an end after Wayne Rooney outing

By Jack Pitt-Brooke

The Football Association will no longer give England players nights off during international breaks after Wayne Rooney was photographed socialising late on Saturday night.

The FA and interim manager Gareth Southgate have changed their guidelines about players' time off, ending the possibility of whole nights off for the rest of the squad, following the story which forced Rooney into a public apology last night.

The FA were very disappointed with the fact that the England captain was photographed out drinking late on Saturday night, the night after the England captain played in the 3-0 win over Scotland at Wembley, not least because of the people Rooney was photographed with.

The FA warned Rooney as to his future conduct, although there will be no sanctions beyond that, and will tell every other England player that he cannot be seen in the same situation.

"England personnel have a responsibility to behave appropriately at all times," said an FA statement yesterday afternoon.

"We will be reviewing our policy around free time while on international duty."

While players will not be kept under constant supervision, they are more likely in future to be granted a few free hours to play golf or see their families, rather than whole nights off.

Rooney apologised to Southgate and FA technical director Dan Ashworth yesterday.

"Naturally Wayne is sorry that pictures taken with fans have been published," said a statement from Rooney's management.

"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.

"Earlier today Wayne spoke privately to both Gareth Southgate and Dan Ashworth to unreservedly apologise.

"He would like to further extend that apology to any young fans who have seen these pictures."

Belfast Telegraph


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