Bury TimesNo rules have been broken - FA (From Bury Times)

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No rules have been broken - FA

Bury Times: Roy Hodgson had no problem with wives and girlfriends being at the team hotel Roy Hodgson had no problem with wives and girlfriends being at the team hotel

The Football Association has played down the presence of a couple of England WAGs in the team hotel on the eve of Friday night's World Cup qualifier with Moldova.

A couple of players were spotted with their partners at the five-star Grove Hotel in Watford prior to the usual team dinner.

There is no suggestion they remained afterwards, or stayed overnight in the hotel, with the vast majority of players choosing to watch the England Under-21 side defeat Moldova in the opening game of their European Championship campaign on television.

"No rules have been broken," an FA spokesman said.

However, the sighting does underline a more relaxed approach under Roy Hodgson than was the case with predecessor Fabio Capello.

The Italian was notoriously hard-line with player discipline and famously had to be persuaded to let his squad have a couple of beers following a dismal World Cup draw with Algeria in Cape Town following complaints the regime was too strict.

Generally, players only meet up with their families immediately after a game. They will get a chance to spend further time with them on Saturday before preparations begin for the second match of their double-header, against Ukraine in Kiev on Tuesday.

The issue of England's wives and girlfriends has taken on additional prominence since the infamous 2006 World Cup campaign, when players' relatives stayed in a nearby hotel to the team base in Baden Baden, with the agreement of manager Sven-Goran Eriksson.

The sight of so many glamorous women was manna from heaven for photographers, with daily reports emerging of the WAGs socialising and shopping habits.

It was suggested afterwards their presence contributed to a below-par showing from the Three Lions, who were knocked out by Portugal in the quarter-finals on penalties.


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