Following this week's charges imposed on Liverpool's Luis Suarez
and Chelsea's John Terry
for alleged racial abuse, Hansen, alongside fellow pundits Gary Linekar and Lee Dixon, discussed the issue of racism in football.
Hansen, who is paid £40,000 per show, said: "I think there’s a lot of coloured players in all the major teams and there are lots of coloured players who are probably the best in the Premier League.
"If you look at 25 or 30 years ago it was probably in a bad way - not as bad as some of the other nations on the Continent - but certainly there is always, always room for improvement," continued Hansen.
The 56-year-old's remarks immediately sparked uproar on Twitter.
According to the Daily Mail
, ex-Tottenham player Rohan Ricketts tweeted: "Is this Alan Hansen guy taking the f****** p***?? I’m not coloured??? He is part of the problem when using that word. We are BLACK Alan! Wtf [sic]."
His comments also upset ex-Liverpool player and fellow TV pundit Stan Collymore, musician Example and Telegraph blogger Toby Young
Hansen has since apologised for his choice of word, saying: "I unreservedly apologise for any offence caused. This was never my intention and I deeply regret the use of the word."