FA seeks more 'open approach' compared with South Africa World Cup

The Football Association has said it has taken a 'conscious decision' to engage with the local community in Poland during the Euro 2012 tournament, after the negative coverage around the 2010 World Cup.

FA: will engage with the local community more during the Euro 2012
FA: will engage with the local community more during the Euro 2012

The FA said the move, which has garnered the squad favourable headlines over their visit to Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz, was an attempt to take a more ‘open approach’ compared with their activities four years ago.

During the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, the team suffered a backlash against their decision to decline a visit to Nelson Mandela's 'prison' Robben Island, as well as an on-camera outburst against fans by striker Wayne Rooney.

The move also follows comments by England manager Roy Hodgson that he wants the players to be ‘good tourists’ and has told the squad he wants them ‘to remember that you are part of the wider world’.

An FA spokesman said: ‘After the World Cup in 2010 we decided that we should have a city centre location instead of a isolated retreat, and that we wanted to have a more open approach to our stay during the tournament.’

The Club England team, headed by MD Adrian Bevington, and the FA’s communications division have taken ‘a conscious decision that, during our stay in Poland, we would engage with the local community and experience the culture of our hosts’.

‘The visit to Auschwitz forms part of our wider commitment to the equality and diversity agenda, and is part of our work with the Holocaust Education Trust,’ said the spokesman.

He also said that the decision to create a code of conduct was ‘something that the Club England board had been looking to do for some time'.

'It forms part of our wider commitment to create more of a club environment for our England teams, and therefore sets a sensible framework for the FA to consider any matters of conduct across our 24 representative teams.’

In addition, Bevington said: ‘I have been delighted with the attitude of the players and team management in embracing and supporting our CSR and PR work.’

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