WHO is really in charge of football these days?
“England duty” meaning a responsibility to act in accordance with the privilege that comes from representing your country.
Seemingly in this day and age players don’t always understand this.
Before the incident, Sterling was being lauded as a cultural icon on his journey to superstardom with a raft of huge commercial endorsements.
Sterling is a rare talent but cultural icon? I’m not so sure.
This incident was handled in a ludicrous snowflake way by England manager Gareth Southgate.
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He called a meeting of senior players to decide a strategy.
The absent Jordan Henderson — who was out of camp because he was banned — brokered a peace deal between two players who, to varying degrees of responsibility, should be behaving themselves a damn sight better.
When does the conduct of a player become a matter for a players’ committee? A democracy over consequences? Good luck, Gareth, next time you drop Henderson having just handed him such power and influence.
This increasing level of player power worries me. Of course they are the stars but this acquiescence over contracts, transfers, managers and even their vantage point on rules is too much.
Like any decent person, I am against any form of abuse but at no point do I agree that players should decide whether they walk off a pitch.
This cannot be their power. I am not suggesting they should endure abuse but it has to be the game’s responsibility to introduce enforceable and meaningful rules to combat the challenges.
It is not for players to ridicule VAR — even if it is currently divisive and flawed — with goal celebrations that increase the resistance to the technology from fans.
Much like Remain voters on Brexit, they somehow think it is going to go away.
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Disgraceful Derby players deciding that it was their right as highly rewarded and “responsible” individuals to go on what can only be described as a p***-up.
They caused drunken carnage in a car with their captain, Richard Keogh, at the centre of it.
He is now injured for 15 months but, rather than accept he has been dismissed for gross misconduct, he is taking his employers to court.
On we go to Karim Benzema of Real Madrid unilaterally deciding that the rules should be changed for him to switch countries as France no longer want to pick him.
Lionel Messi, banned for three months for claiming the Copa America is fixed for Brazil, abuses a ref endlessly on his international return.
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And finally we have Cristiano Ronaldo storming off and out of the stadium because his manager had the audacity to substitute him.
Player power is on the rise but it should never come at the expense of the values, principles and structure of a game that doesn’t belong just to them.
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This post written by ian tuckey originally appeared on Football news - transfers, fixtures, scores, pictures | The Sun. Read the full post here.