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."
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.
More top news
McDonald's in Japan will resume serving large portions of French fries in January after a labour dispute in the US disrupted supply.
More than four in 10 cases of cancer in the UK could be avoided if people made changes to their lifestyle, Cancer Research says.
Services took place in Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka and India on the 10th anniversary of the tsunami which claimed 230,000 lives.