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The English FA’s latest scapegoat is Video Games

By: Moses Abaortae

  |   October 18th, 2012   |  
England v San Marino - FIFA 2014 World Cup Qualifier

The FA is set to impose new rules on the England squad in terms the amount of time they can spend playing video games as a part of their soon to be announced new code of conduct. David James is partly to blame.

England’s lack of success on the silverware front seems to be putting all kinds of pressure on the English Football Association as they look to clamp down on the squad’s apparent slackness and lack of focus on the pitch.

A number of new rules and regulations are being drawn up that look to limit their players’ many extra-curricular habits. This not only includes a ban on match related tweets in the 24-hours leading up to an international fixture but also on how long they can spend playing video games.

The new rule is set to be implemented in November with the specifics set to be announced later on in this month, or at least some indication given until then.

A considerable number of the England squad are known to be ‘gamers’ with the likes of England goal keeper, Joe Hart, and midfielder, Oxlade Chamberlain, both appearing on the cover of the latest game.

One would imagine the players’ reaction would be something like this

The roots of this rule can be traced back to 1997, when David James, the former West Ham United, Liverpool and Portsmouth goal keeper, blamed Lara Croft for his poor performance on the pitch. Apparently the player would spend many a late night playing Tomb Raider.

However, the latest code of conduct takes away another layer of freedom from the players as the FA seems to be clamping down on their social media privileges and means of entertainment. One has to wonder if it has enough weight to become a full on scandal if any of the England players are caught playing Skyrim or FIFA.

It will be interesting to see how players react to the new rule, especially with a considerable number of players in the England set up still fairly young.

Yet the matter is not to be taken likely as the English Football team’s managing director, Adrian Bevington, who never knew the joy of owning a Nintendo, PlayStation or Xbox, went on record stating that players could face suspensions if they breached the code of conduct.

It would be both sad and hilarious if Jack Wilshere and Joe Hart had to miss a World Cup Qualifier on the basis they were caught being Dead or Alive: Beach Volleyball or even FIFA for that matter.

It would seem that the FA is blaming everything for England’s performances on the pitch, which haven’t been all too bad recently, but themselves. Whether or not the new rules stick or the FA come to their senses remains to be seen.