Roy Hodgson 'racism' row: Andros Townsend makes further defence of manager - claiming 'space monkey' joke was a compliment

Hodgson had made a comment about an astronaut feeding a monkey in relation to Chris Smalling and Townsend's playing relationship in the 2-0 win over Poland

Tottenham winger Andros Townsend has further defended England manager Roy Hodgson over his ‘space monkey’ joke by claiming his comments at half-time during their victory over Poland were a “compliment”.

Hodgson was reported to have said something in relation to an astronaut feeding a monkey in a comparison to Chris Smalling getting the ball to Townsend, with the leak from the England changing room said to have come from a member of the playing squad.

Townsend initially spoke via his Twitter account to confirm that he was not offended by the comments, which he knew were not racially related.

Speaking at a pre-match press conference ahead of Spurs’ Premier League fixture against Aston Villa on Sunday, Townsend admitted that Hodgson’s comment was a compliment and a sign of his appreciation for how well the 22-year-old was playing.

"The manager just told the players to give the ball to me so that's a compliment," said Townsend, who was been praised as rejuvenating the Three Lions over their past two games.

"Everyone should be focusing on us qualifying for Brazil - not on negative silly news."

Townsend’s defence comes after Hodgson admitted both he and the squad were “angry” with the revelations, and he admitted his disappointment that what should be a time of joy and celebration had been soured by these claims.

"Joy is short-lived in this job," Hodgson said when speaking to the Daily Mail on Friday.

"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."

Hodgson was also defended by the Football Association chairman Greg Dyke, who gave both his and the governing body’s full backing to the under-fire manager.

"Roy Hodgson is a man of the highest integrity, an honourable man who is doing a great job with the England team," said Dyke.

"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."

However, since Hodgson spoke, the Society for Black Lawyers has written a letter to the FA calling for an independent investigation on the matter, labelling their decision to class the matter as closed “unacceptable”.

Furthermore, they have demanded that Hodgson attends a race appreciation training course, with the head of the group Peter Herbert writing the four-page complaint letter himself to Dyke.

"To announce that the matter is 'closed' without any action being taken against the England manager is unacceptable and wholly inconsistent with your policies on equality and diversity,” the letter read.

"For Mr Hodgson or anyone else to make an apology if they fail to understand why the words used were offensive or potentially so is not the response of an institution with the resources and profile of the FA.

"The 'innocent remark' made out of ignorance is sadly a common feature of football. We are using the appropriate complaints procedure to urge the FA to provide mandatory 'race appreciation' training and 'cultural capital and cultural intelligence' training to Roy Hodgson and all football managers in the UK."

The FA declined to comment on the letter.

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Stik on the crane as he completed the mural
art
News
Happy in his hat: Pharrell Williams
people
News
i100(More than you think)
News
Phyllis Dorothy James on stage during a reading of her book 'Death Comes to Pemberley' last year
peopleJohn Walsh pays tribute to PD James, who died today
News
peopleExclusive: Maryum and Hana Ali share their stories of the family man behind the boxing gloves
Arts and Entertainment
John Hurt will voice Prince Bolkonsky in Radio 4's War and Peace
radioRadio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

Staying connected: The King's School

The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected
Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up