London, Aug 31 : England's football aces have turned to smuggling chocolate bars into their rooms after they were put on a new super-tough diet by their coach Fabio Capello.
The players are also battling agonising hunger pangs with bags of crisps, after Capello introduced a regime, which forces the national squad to go up to eight hours without food after training sessions.
The fasting plan enforced by the coach somehow backfired, as in the recent drawn friendly with the Czech Republic the boys' were too lethargic to play. "Players were complaining of feeling light-headed and nauseous after training. They'd been together four days and couldn't believe how little they'd eaten. Most are used to diets packed with carbohydrates to keep going. Now all they're allowed is a bit of cereal and toast," the Sun quoted one senior source highly placed in the England camp as saying.
"It got so bad that some started smuggling supplies of chocolate and crisps into their rooms behind Capello's back," the source added.
Italian Capello's diet plan even saw one player, believed to be Man Utd defender Rio Ferdinand, vomit during the game's half-time break.
"One senior player started suffering stomach cramps and was sick all over the dressing room floor. This isn't about the players being greedy. But suddenly they were going long periods with nothing to eat and their systems couldn't cope," the source stated.
Capello, famed for his uncompromising style, had taken the England job on a 6million pounds-a-year deal last December.
"There's been a bit of moaning about the diet behind closed doors, but no one's been brave enough to confront the boss head-on," the source added.
Story first published: Sunday, August 31, 2008, 19:04 [IST]
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