Hodgson sorry for 'monkey' joke

The England manager has apologised after a comment made at half time during the 2-0 win over Poland. Roy Hodgson is believed to have used a joke about a space monkey to encourage right back Chris Smalling to pass the ball to Andros Townsend.

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Roy Hodgson forced to apologise after half time joke

England manager Roy Hodgson has apologised after making a joke about a space monkey and winger Andros Townsend during half time of the 2-0 win over Poland.

Hodgson is believed to have used the joke about a space monkey to encourage right back Chris Smalling to pass the ball to Andros Townsend.

The 66-year-old said: “I would like to apologise if any offence has been caused by what I said at half time. There was absolutely no intention on my part to say anything inappropriate. I made this clear straight away to Andros in the dressing room."

England manager Roy Hodgson Credit: PA Wire

While The Sun newspaper accused Hodgson of making a "race gaffe" which "upset" players, Wayne Rooney defended the England manager against the "ridiculous" story.

The striker tweeted: "Seen the story on roy this morning. He done nothing wrong. This is ridiculous."

The row threatens to overshadow England's qualification for the World Cup which was confirmed after Tuesday's 2-0 win over Poland at Wembley.

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