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Hodgson: Footballers must lead like our Olympians

12 Aug 2012 12:46:53

Hodgson: Footballers must lead like our Olympians

Roy Hodgson has called on his England stars to follow the example of Britain's Olympians and become better role models for their sport.

With the London Games coming to a close on Sunday and the Premier League season getting underway next weekend, it won't be long before football is back in the headlines and England manager Hodgson wants to see his players feted in the same way as Britain's Olympic heroes.

The likes of Ben Ainslie, Bradley Wiggins, Mo Farah and Jessica Ennis have been embraced by the British public after delivering victories just as notable for the atheletes' grace and dignity as their gold medals.

But in contrast, English football spent much of the close-season tainted by the ugly revelations from John Terry's successful court battle to prove he wasn't guilty of racially abusing QPR's Anton Ferdinand in a Premier League clash last October.

The fall-out from the case has continued with Chelsea and England defender Terry and Ferdinand's brother Rio, the Manchester United defender, both charged by the Football Association.

After so much negative publicity, Hodgson, whose side face Italy in a friendly in Berne on Wednesday, knows there is extra responsibility on his players to emulate the Olympic spirit that has captivated the world for the past two weeks.

"I'd love to tap into the whole Olympic atmosphere," Hodgson said "I've been really impressed by our athletes in how they have won medals and embraced their victory.

"It's been very refreshing to see talented people showing a good face to the nation and the world.

"I was pleased with the way the England players behaved and conducted themselves during Euro 2012.

"Now the Olympics have really shown us the way to go so there is now an extra burden of responsibility on our players to make sure they are good role models and professionals in the way they speak to the nation as our athletes have done."


AFP

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