England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson has backed his players decision to boycott the media following England’s 2-1 victory over Poland in Katowice.
The players, angry at the criticism they received following the 2-2 draw with Austria on Saturday, refused to speak to the media after last night’s match.
“I think they want to defend all the players, all the individuals in the squad, whether or not they are on the pitch, if they are on the bench, or in the stands,” said Eriksson.
“They feel very strongly about that. I have not read everything but I think sometimes the critics do overreact a little bit.”
It is understood that condemnation in a tabloid newspaper of goalkeeper David James was the final straw. James was deemed responsible for the second goal conceded during Saturday’s encounter.
Captain David Beckham has also been the target of immense media criticism for his recent performances in an England shirt.
FA head of media Adrian Bevington explained the players decision.
“Individual criticism that goes way beyond that of the way they perform on the football pitch is something that clearly, in their view, is very unfair,” said Bevington.
“I have to accept and respect their decision but they have made it clear that when we get together again in October for the game against Wales, it will be back to business as normal.
“The players will continue to conduct their daily media activities in a very professional manner.
“They felt it was time now to make a stance. It is not the first time they have felt like this in a long period of time.
“They regularly receive criticism but they felt it was so intense on this occasion that it was time to make a stand.”
“Some of it has been very unfair on the players and more so on their families. People sometimes don’t take them into account.
“I spoke to the players and made them aware of the potential consequences but I fully understand.
“I have probably been following the media more closely than anybody and the criticism levelled at them has been very, very hostile.
“There has been a great deal of misrepresentation.
“I have to say that listening to some of the interviews, then reading the copy and listening to the coverage, I found it very unfair.”