With the 2012 European Championships just eight days away, football fans used to reading tweets from some of their favorite players will need to do without them as Denmark and Spain have banned their players from using Twitter during the tournament.
Few other national teams have yet to announce their Social Media policy though Germany and Ireland will allow their players limited tweeting privileges.
Denmark is really the only team to publicly flat out ban their players from Twitter and Facebook during Euro2012.
“There is so much communication during the championships that we want to limit it to meetings with the media,” said the Danish Football Association’s media boss Lars Berendt.
“There was a time when we lived without Twitter and we’ll be able to do it during the Euros,” Denmark keeper Thomas Sorensen, who has more than 20,000 Twitter followers (@TSorensen1). Sorensen actually will not have to worry as he was a late scratch from Denmark’s squad.
His teammate Christian Eriksen (@ChrisEriksen8) is also on the Social Media networking site.
But Denmark star forward Nicklas Bentner was less than happy with the decision, telling Danish television TV2: “I don’t agree with it but I’ll respect their decision. It would have been nice for the players to express some thoughts.”
And even Denmark’s culture minister Uffe Elbaek, who is also responsible for sports affairs, sharply criticized head coach Morten Olsen’s directive.
“I absolutely do not understand this decision,” Elbaek told Danish public broadcaster DR, demanding an explanation from the federation.
“In a team there will always be one or two that don’t agree with the decisions. We are 23 players. We have to have some rules,” Olsen told Associated Press. “I’m not in a job where I have to please everyone.”
Meanwhile, it seems wonderfully ironic that many learned of Spanish players also being banned from using Twitter during Euro2012 on Twitter. Spain’s Barcelona star Cesc Fabregas posted a tweet on May 28 on his Twitter feed (@cesc4official) that he and his teammates would not be able to use Twitter.
“In 4 days we are going to the seleccion (national team). We cannot tweet. I hope to return with the same photo…” posted Fabregas with a link to him kissing a trophy in Spanish kit.
Here were the responses of some of Fabregas’s followers: “aww you won’t get to tweet for an entire month? gonna be tough for @3gerardpique (Barcelona teammate Gerard Pique) huh”; “im going to die without you tweeting :(” and lots of “good luck” wishes.
Irish players however will were given Twitter freedom by head coach Giovanni Trapattoni – with a couple of minor restrictions.
In a report in the Irish Examiner, Trapattoni asked his players to respect the privacy of their teammates and staff and not reveal any tactics or anything of a team nature. The top two prolific tweeters among Ireland’s squad are veteran keeper Shay Given (@No1shaygiven) and James McClean (@JamesMcC23).
German head coach Joachim Löw also will be limiting his players’ Twitter habits.
“We will discuss that in detail with the players. Team-internal things naturally can never be allowed outside,” said Löw in an interview with the German mass daily Bild.
Last November, Andre Schürrle tweeted that he would be leaving the team before the test match against the Netherlands due to injury before the German press spokesman could make the official announcement.
“That cannot happen. I will make sure the team knows it. There will be a code,” said Löw.
“In the times of the new media, it’s hardly possible to forbid it. We are not as strict anymore,” German team manager Oliver Bierhoff told kicker magazine.