Tuesday 23 January 2018

I smoked shisha once but I thought it was complete nonsense, says England manager Roy Hodgson

England manager Roy Hodgson
England manager Roy Hodgson

Paul Hirst

England manager Roy Hodgson does not understand the fuss surrounding Jack Wilshere's latest smoking controversy, and does not profess to be a fan of shisha pipes - even though he admits he once tried one.

Arsene Wenger had a stern word in Wilshere's ear last week when the Arsenal midfielder was pictured holding a shisha pipe at a nightclub.

Wilshere has twice been seen with a cigarette in his hand, much to the dismay of Wenger, who has made it known that he takes a dim view of smoking.

Read more: Wilshere apologises over pipe photo

According to the British Heart Foundation (BHF), smoking shisha pipes, which are common in the Middle Eastern and Asian communities, can be hazardous to your health, especially if they contain nicotine.

"You and anyone sitting near you are breathing in smoke which releases toxins including carbon monoxide and heavy metals - reducing your body's ability to carry oxygen around in your blood," said the BHF, who also warned that shisha tobacco can contain "nicotine, tar, carbon monoxide and heavy metals, such as arsenic and lead".

Hodgson was caught off guard when asked about the shisha episode during a briefing in London on Thursday.

"I thought tobacco was smoking and shisha pipes were (just) water with flavour?" Hodgson said.

When informed that some shisha pipes contain nicotine, the England boss replied: "Does it? Are you sure about that? I am not 100 per cent sure...."

When Wilshere and Hodgson next meet they will be able to discuss the matter as they both appear to have smoked the pipes.

Hodgson, however, is not a big fan.

"As an ex-cigar smoker when I tried it (shisha) I thought it was a complete nonsense, I couldn't understand who would do it," Hodgson added.

"Apart from a faint fruity taste in your mouth that was about the end of it.

"It isn't ideal but we don't live in an ideal world. I am happy it has been dealt with and it won't occupy a lot of my time with Jack when I see him because we have a football match to win."

Of more concern to Hodgson is the discipline of West Brom striker Saido Berahino.

Hodgson handed Berahino his first England call-up for the November double-header against Scotland and Slovenia on the back of a good run of form for the Baggies striker.

Since his first senior call-up, the 21-year-old has been banned from driving for 12 months after being caught over the limit.

Press Association Sport understands Football Association technical director Dan Ashworth has sent Berahino a letter reminding he must respect the laws of England's code of conduct.

Hodgson, who handed Berahino his West Brom debut in 2012, said: "It's been dealt with.

"He has been reprimanded and as far as we are concerned the matter is closed. It is up to him to put that behind him and show with his future behaviour that he has taken the reprimand on board."

Press Association

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