England coach Roy Hodgson sorry if any offense caused by joke about a monkey in space

England coach Roy Hodgson has apologized for his joke about a monkey in space during a halftime talk in the World Cup qualifying victory over Poland.

Hodgson recounted the joke in the locker room Tuesday as he attempted to explain how he wanted his players to pass the ball more to winger Andros Townsend. Townsend is black.

Hodgson said in a statement Wednesday to The Sun newspaper he "would like to apologize if any offense has been caused." He added there was "absolutely no intention on my part to say anything inappropriate."

The anti-racism group Kick It Out wants an investigation "to ascertain the full facts and ensure a similar situation does not arise again."

Townsend tweeted Thursday "I don't know what all this fuss is about. No offense was meant and none was taken!" England striker Wayne Rooney added on Twitter the story was "ridiculous."