FA race plea to England stars

FA general secretary Alex Horne says England players should use official channels to report allegations of racism.

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

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

Football Association general secretary Alex Horne says the controversy over Roy Hodgson's 'space monkey' joke has highlighted the need for all players to report anything they perceive as discrimination.

Hodgson issued an apology after information was leaked to the media that he used the joke to highlight the need for England to give more of the ball to Tottenham winger Andros Townsend in his half-time team talk during the World Cup qualifier against Poland earlier this month.

No complaint was made by any England squad member to the FA and Horne said any player feeling concerned about possible discrimination should go through the correct channels.

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 said the England manager had taken the correct steps.

He 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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