Brazil players told not to wear hats, earrings

SAO PAULO (AP) Brazil players are being told not to wear hats, earrings or flip-flops while serving the national football team under the command of coach Dunga.

They also can't use mobile phones or tablets at certain times, and are discouraged from engaging in religious or political discussions.

The internal code of conduct was published Thursday by the Folha de S. Paulo newspaper, Brazil's largest daily. The Brazilian football confederation confirmed its existence during a news conference in which Dunga announced the squad for friendlies against Turkey and Austria in November.

The confederation's guide for good behavior already existed but was revised after Dunga took over following Brazil's disappointing performance at the home World Cup this year.

''There are rules in any company, and even in our family there are conducts that are needed to maintain good harmony,'' Dunga said. ''We are not prohibiting anything, there were rules already, we are suggesting some things we thought were important. The players are responsible for their own acts and depending on what happens we will decide how we respond.''

The 16-topic guide published by Folha said players may be punished if they don't follow the guidelines. They could receive a warning, a fine or be release from the squad, according to the daily.

A former defensive midfielder in his second stint in charge of the national team, Dunga was known for his toughness as a player and continued to cultivate the image of a disciplinarian after becoming a coach following the 2006 World Cup.

Last month, veteran right back Maicon was dropped from friendlies in the United States for failing to report to the team's hotel by the time established by coach Dunga and the Brazilian confederation.

''I think fans demanded more organization in the national team,'' he said. ''From what we've seen so far, the players liked what was presented to them, now they know what the limits are.''

There were no formal restrictions under coach Luiz Felipe Scolari at the World Cup, when the hosts were eliminated with a 7-1 loss to Germany in the semifinals. Players were regularly seen wearing hats, flip-flops and using mobile phones at the team's training camp.

The new guide says players should not use or wear the prohibited items during gatherings such as lunch and dinner, or in changings rooms and team meetings. They are being told to wear socks and tennis shoes.

It also says that nobody should leave the table before everyone is finished during meals, and that the captain should be the first one to leave. It notes that players should always report to the national team wearing social attire.

They can't express their political or religious opinion while with the national team, and should always sing the national anthem before matches.

According to Folha, the guide also says the players are responsible for paying for extra costs during trips, including charges for phone calls and excess baggage.

Brazil has won all four matches since Dunga's return, beating Ecuador, Colombia, Argentina and Japan.

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