Oct 15, 2013 at 8pm UK at ‚ÄčWembley Stadium
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Stan Collymore slams Roy Hodgson criticism

Collymore slams Hodgson criticism
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Former England striker Stan Collymore defends Roy Hodgson after he was accused of making comments with racial overtones at half time of Tuesday's match against Poland.

Former England international Stan Collymore has claimed that the criticism surrounding an allegedly racist remark made by national team boss Roy Hodgson "demeans" anti-racism campaigns.

Hodgson was forced to apologise for referencing a joke during half time of England's crucial World Cup qualifier against Poland on Tuesday, asking Chris Smalling to pass the ball to Andros Townsend by telling him to "feed the monkey".

However, Collymore, who has been subject to racial abuse in the past, believes that Hodgson has done nothing wrong and that such a frivolous allegation of racism weakens the fight to eradicate it from football.

"Someone leaked it and I bet 100% confident that no player was offended, not one," Collymore wrote on Twitter.

"If they are, do explain why. Racism is hard enough to keep on the agenda as it is without making everyone think a legitimate space tale should be a cause for offence.

"Demeans every anti racism campaigner by having cheap pop at RH who said NOTHING WRONG. Makes campaigners seem over PC & petty. They're not."

Hodgson has also been defended by Wayne Rooney over the joke, while Townsend insisted that no offence was intended or taken.

England striker Wayne Rooney plays during the international friendly football match between England and Scotland at Wembley Stadium in London on August 14, 2013
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