Chelsea defender Ashley Cole has hit back at suggestions that he was involved in a controversial leak from the England dressing room - as he was not even at Wembley when Roy Hodgson made his 'space monkey' joke.
Hodgson was caught up in an inadvertent race storm on Thursday morning after it was revealed he had explained the need to given Andros Townsend the ball by telling a popular joke about a monkey astronaut being fed.
The England manager has since apologised for any offence caused by the comment, which was made at half-time during the defeat of Poland, and Andros Townsend has dismissed the furore as 'not even news worthy'.
After Townsend gave his backing to Hodgson, the focus soon turned to the discovery of the mole who provided the story to the tabloid press in the first place, and many began to point the finger at Cole.
The left-back faced accusations on Twitter with regards to potential involvement in the leak but, as Cole was quick to point out, he was not even with the England squad, but watched the game on TV as he recovered from injury.
Cole tweeted: "love how people blaming me already, and i wasn't even there, anything bad in the world #blameash."
The 32-year-old was out of action after failing to regain match fitness after a rib injury he suffered in Chelsea's defeat of Norwich.