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FA race plea to England stars

Football Association general secretary Alex Horne has urged England players to use official channels if they perceive they have been racially discriminated against.

Last Updated: 24/10/13 at 10:55 Post Comment

Andros Townsend and Roy Hodgson: At centre of 'space monkey' media storm

Andros Townsend and Roy Hodgson: At centre of 'space monkey' media storm

Horne says the media storm over England boss Roy Hodgson's 'space monkey' joke could have been avoided if the issue had been reported through official procedures.

Hodgson's joke - made during his half-time team-talk during the 2-0 win over Poland - was leaked to the media, but no official complaint was made by any England squad member.

Hodgson used the joke to highlight the need for England to give more of the ball to Tottenham winger Andros Townsend.

Horne said: "We have had no complaint and we have spoken to everyone in the squad about this.

"But - and not necessarily reflecting on this - if any player in any situation in football finds themselves a victim of abuse or a victim of discrimination they should feel comfortable enough to use the right channels to make a complaint, and that means either going through Kick It Out or ourselves to make a legitimate complaint."

The joke revolves around NASA sending a monkey into space with an astronaut, whose only task is to 'feed the monkey' - which Hodgson used to suggest the ball should be played to Townsend when he was in space.

Horne added: "Roy has apologised, he apologised within the dressing room immediately when he realised there could be unintended consequences of what happened in the dressing room.

"The context of the anecdote is clear, the intent is clear, and that's what the apology is about. He's apologised for any unintended consequence of a deliberate analogy around teamwork in the dressing room at half-time."

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till reckon Chelsea will go for Khedira as back up for Matic. I think it will turn out to be quite a Mourihno-y window: We'll see the squad players and youth in action pre-season, say things like well, we need not buy anybody and then the club will bid £60m for Pogba and send everybody on loan.

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would love to be a fly on the wall at the meeting between Milner and Rodgers. I don't know if flies can count, but if they can then I would be counting the number of times Rodgers used the word outstanding in his attempts to get Milner to sign.

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ell, it wouldn't be a summer without Arsenal fans fretting over losing a key player, and United throwing their weight around and muscling in on transfer deals which are (apparently) near to completion. If we can't be entertained by the football on the pitch, let's enjoy the silly off-pitch soap opera of the transfer season. Hurrah!

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