Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 10/17/12
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In that famous episode of The Wire, Bunk Moreland said it best: "A man must have a code." That gem of wisdom will apply to Ashley Cole, Wayne Rooney, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and any other player who wants to play for England's national soccer team. The FA has given England's senior players a new code of conduct, which governs their behavior while on national-team duty. The 16-page booklet entitled "Club England Player Code of Conduct," includes 33 dos and don'ts. Players who run afoul of the code can be warned and even disqualified from playing for England without the right of appeal. It applies to all 24 England representative teams and players at all levels. The code, which has yet to be released to the public, reportedly includes a ban on using Twitter (without the manager's permission) within 24 hours of kickoff, drinking alcohol, using drugs or engaging in violence, abuse or discrimination. England players are also prohibited from ordering room service at hotels or playing video games for longer than a "sensible amount of time," according to the Independent. The BBC reports the code encourages players to acknowledge fans at the end of games and walk through the media mixed zone ... without wearing headphones. The FA has been working on the code since January, and it takes effect in November. Chairman David Bernstein says the document is long overdue. "They are incredible role models with incredibly high profiles and their behavior is extremely important," Bernstein told the BBC. "This really should have been brought in years and years ago." If a player breaks the code of conduct, there will be an invistagition with which he or she must cooperate. "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," England managing director Adrian Bevington said. As far as England's national team goes, if a man (or woman) doesn't have a code, as Bunk suggests, the FA is more than willing to give him one to live by. Have a question for Marcus Kwesi O'Mard? Send it to him via Twitter at @NESNsoccer, NESN Soccer's Facebook page or send it here. He will pick a few questions to answer every week for his mailbag.

This article first appeared on NESN.com and was syndicated with permission.

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