London, Oct 8: England striker Wayne Rooney led the wave of support for manager Roy Hodgson, as the boss was cleared of racism in his team talk during a 2-0 win against Poland where he allegedly cracked a monkey joke.
According to the Mirror, Rooney branded the storm about Hodgson cracking a monkey joke a ‘ridiculous’ smear on the man who will lead the Three Lions to next summer’s World Cup finals.
FA chairman Greg Dyke offered his unqualified support, insisting no complaint had been made against Hodgson, none of the players were unhappy with his language and that the 66-year-old would face no censure from his Wembley bosses, the report said.
Hodgson used his gag about primates in space during his half-time pep talk in the 2-0 win against Poland, the report added.
He was trying to illustrate why his players should give the ball to winger Andros Townsend, but issued an apology after it was leaked, with the potentially damaging inference that the joke had racist connotations, the report further said.
Rooney said that it was really annoying that something such as this should see the light of day, adding that all the lads know what type of guy Hodgson is and to try and pin some form on label on him was absolutely ridiculous.
The striker added that Hodgson had spoken to Townsend straight away, who took no offence whatsoever.
Although Hodgson was said to be furious about his tactical advice being misinterpreted as having racist connotations, the FA are not believed to be pursuing a hunt for whoever leaked it, according to the report. (ANI)