Greg Dyke offers full support to England boss Roy Hodgson over Andros Townsend comment
FA chairman Greg Dyke has backed Roy Hodgson and insists his 'monkey' comment to Andros Townsend was not racist.
Last Updated: 17/10/13 4:13pm
Hodgson reportedly told a joke during half-time of Tuesday's 2-0 win over Poland - which included the term 'feed the monkey' and dates back to when NASA sent a monkey into space - with the intention of getting right-back Chris Smalling to get the ball to Townsend as often as possible.
In a statement released by the FA, Dyke said: "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.
"He has fully explained to us what he said and the point he was making to the players in the dressing room at half-time on Tuesday night. He has also explained the context in which he made his remarks.
"He has made clear there was no intent to say anything inappropriate, and he was certainly not making any comments with any racist connotation. Importantly, he has apologised for any unintended offence that may have been taken.
"Roy has spoken with Andros Townsend and a number of the players since the game and he has been assured there are no problems within the squad whatsoever.
"Additionally, the FA has not had a complaint from any squad member or player representative, and we have today talked extensively to the squad. The FA has been assured by the players that there are no problems and they understand the point Roy was making and the context in which he was speaking.
"We will be making no further comment on this story and will now be giving Roy and the team our full support as we prepare for the World Cup in Brazil."
Anti-racism group Kick It Out, who had called for an investigation, released their own statement shortly after the FA, which read: "Kick It Out, football's equality and inclusion campaign, is pleased that The Football Association (FA) has investigated this matter swiftly and issued its findings immediately.
"If there has been no complaint on the back of the investigation then the matter can only be deemed as concluded.
"Kick It Out acts on behalf of the football community at large and when an allegation of a racist or discriminatory nature is made, it's the organisation's role to follow this up."
Townsend, whose father Troy works for the Kick It Out campaign, has also backed Hodgson, taking to Twitter to write: "I don't know what all this fuss is about. No offence was meant and none was taken! It's not even news worthy!"
Wayne Rooney leapt to the defence of his manager, writing on Twitter: "He done nothing wrong. This is ridiculous."
I don't know what all this fuss is about. No offence was meant and none was taken! It's not even news worthy!- andros townsend (@andros_townsend) October 17, 2013
Seen the story on roy this morning. He done nothing wrong. This is ridiculous.- Wayne Rooney (@WayneRooney) October 17, 2013
Hodgson and the FA are reportedly upset that his comments have become an issue, especially in the wake of all the positive press he received for securing England's place at the World Cup finals next summer with the 2-0 win at Wembley.
"I would like to apologise if any offence has been caused by what I said at half-time," Hodgson said earlier on Thursday.
"There was absolutely no intention on my part to say anything inappropriate. I made this clear straight away to Andros in the dressing room.
"I also spoke to Andros again on Wednesday. He has assured me and The FA he did not take any offence, and understood the point I was making in the manner I intended."
Kick-It Out campaign chairman Lord Ouseley called for further investigation, though, saying: "This is not a hanging offence but offence has been caused, and now it is public the FA has a duty to investigate what happened.
"All the FA has to do is examine the facts and make a statement. If they do not there will be recriminations from other players."
Townsend scored a superb goal on his international debut against Montenegro and followed that up with another eye-catching performance in Tuesday's 2-0 victory over Poland.
The 22-year-old is now a strong contender for a place in Hodgson's 23-man squad, but appreciates that he can take nothing for granted as selections will be made based on club form over the remainder of the 2013/14 Premier League season.
"For me, I have got to put that to the back of my mind now," Townsend told Sky Sports News.
"I have got a difficult enough job trying to keep my place in the Tottenham team. We have got some fantastic players all vying for one position, so I have got to play well in every game and hopefully the rewards will come at the end of the season."