WAGs Out: England bans wives and girlfriends of footballers for 2014 World Cup
The wives and girlfriends of England footballers will be banned from travelling with the team on their World Cup tour.
Roy Hodgson, the England manager, has rescinded an invitation he initially extended to players’ partners to join the squad on the official tour, which starts in the US before moving on to Brazil.
Any wives, girlfriends or families wishing to travel to warm-up games in Miami will have to make their own arrangements to attend.
The decision, intended to signal a businesslike approach to the World Cup, is a significant departure from the 2006 tournament in Germany, where wives and girlfriends – or WAGs – including Victoria Beckham, Cheryl Cole and Coleen Rooney descended on Baden Baden, where the players were staying.
Four years later, the then manager Fabio Capello locked the squad away in their South African base, with partners only allowed brief meetings.
Hodgson adopted a more relaxed approach to the WAGs, allowing them to visit their husbands and boyfriends at Euro 2012, and had invited players’ partners to travel with the team to Miami, but the FA has now rethought the offer.
Wives and girlfriends who still wish to travel to Miami independently will be warned that time with the players will be strictly limited. Similarly, while they are not banned from making the trip to Brazil, they will have to travel independently and will be given only limited access to the players. England will give players only a day to spend with their families after a friendly against Peru at Wembley on May 30 before flying out to Miami on June 1.
The team is staying next to the South Beach neighbourhood of Miami, which is known for its nightclubs, restaurants and boutiques, for warm-up games against Ecuador on June 4 and Honduras on June 7, before their opening World Cup match on June 14.