Anti-racism group Kick It Out has called on the Football Association to investigate a joke about a monkey in space made by England boss Roy Hodgson despite winger Andros Townsend's attempts to play down the issue.
Hodgson has apologised to anyone offended by the joke made at half-time during the 2-0 World Cup qualifying win over Poland, which was intended to convey the need for England to play the ball more to Townsend. The word 'monkey' can in certain contexts have racist connotations.
Townsend says no offence was meant or taken, but Kick It Out's chairman Lord Herman Ouseley has called on the FA to investigate the incident.
A Kick It Out statement said: "Kick It Out, football's equality and inclusion campaign, recognises and shares the concerns of the parties who felt mindful to bring the comments into the public domain.
"The matter has been raised by the chair, Lord Herman Ouseley, directly with the Football Association, who acknowledges the apology made by Roy Hodgson, and now seeks an investigation to ascertain the full facts and ensure a similar situation does not arise again."
Townsend, whose father Troy works for Kick It Out as its mentoring manager, insists he was not offended and cannot understand why it has generated so much coverage.
Deputy prime minister Nick Clegg has waded into the debate, suggesting Hodgson "choose his words more carefully".