Hodgson anger over race row

Roy Hodgson has expressed his anger over claims he offended an England player and has rejected any suggestion of racism.

Last Updated: 18/10/13 at 07:30 Post Comment

Roy Hodgson: England boss left angry by racism row

Roy Hodgson: England boss left angry by racism row

England manager Roy Hodgson has expressed his frustration and anger that his side's achievement in reaching the World Cup earlier this week has been overshadowed by the details of a joke he told the dressing room in the qualifier against Poland.

The unwelcome headlines for Hodgson came little more than 24 hours after he guided England to qualification for the World Cup finals in Brazil next summer.

The FA was quick to give Hodgson its full backing over the joke about a monkey in space, which it is believed he used to illustrate why his players should give the ball to winger Andros Townsend during his half-time team talk during Tuesday's victory over Poland.

Hodgson believes the quip has put a spoiler on England's achievements in the past few days, telling the the Daily Mail: "Joy is short-lived in this job. The players are as angry about this as I am.

"We have just had a successful period and, although I wouldn't suggest we intend to rest on our laurels, I think we have earned the right to enjoy the fruits of our labours. Instead we get this."

Lord Ouseley, chairman of Kick It Out, had initially called for the FA to investigate but the anti-racism campaign group accepted the matter was now concluded following a statement from FA chairman Greg Dyke that confirmed no complaint had been made and none of the players was unhappy with Hodgson's words.

However, Society of Black Lawyers chairman Peter Herbert does not consider the matter closed and will be putting in a formal complaint.

Herbert told talkSPORT: "I think you need some outside oversight of what's happening...Kick it Out are in a delicate position in raising these issues.

"We will be putting in a formal complaint and would like a transcript of what investigation took place.

"You have to understand how justice works. We are talking about fairness and equality for all in football - that shouldn't be rocket science."

It is not clear how part of the manager's team talk came to be in the press, and Wayne Rooney described the accusations of racism against Hodgson as "absolutely ridiculous".

Rooney was one of the first to offer his support, and speaking to his website, the striker said: "To be honest, it's really annoying that something such as this should see the light of day.

"All the lads know what type of guy Roy is, and to try and pin some form of label on him is absolutely ridiculous.

"Roy spoke to Andros straight away, who took no offence whatsoever. Hopefully that's now the end of the matter."

Hodgson apologised for any offence caused and confirmed he had spoken to Townsend at the time and on Wednesday, which implies he had been aware of the possible connotations.

Townsend said on Twitter: "I don't know what all this fuss is about. No offence was meant and none was taken! It's not even news worthy!"

Dyke's statement on the matter left no doubt over the strength of his support for the England manager.

"Roy Hodgson is a man of the highest integrity, an honourable man who is doing a great job with the England team. He has and deserves the full support of The Football Association," Dyke said.


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