Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 22 July 2014

Roy Keane tells Republic of Ireland to get over it

Roy Keane has lambasted the Republic of Ireland's attempts to get their controversial World Cup play-off match against France replayed.

Roy Keane had little sympathy for the Football Association of Ireland's campaign to have their controversial World Cup play-off against France replayed and said: "What goes around comes around."

The Ipswich manager's relationship with the FAI broke down following his walk-out from the Republic of Ireland training camp prior to the 2002 World Cup.

And he dismissed their calls for "the honesty and integrity" of the sport to be protected in the wake of Thierry Henry's handball which led to France's winner in Paris on Wednesday night.

He told a press conference broadcast by Sky Sports News: "I think the supporters deserve better, the manager (Giovanni Trapattoni) deserves better and probably most of the players deserve better, but I'm not sure the FAI deserve better.

"What goes around comes around."

Keane pointed out that controversial decisions also went Ireland's way in the qualifying campaign, not least a harsh penalty award against Georgia which helped them to claim a 2-1 qualifying win in February.

He added: "Ireland had their chances in the two games (against France), and they never took them. But it's the usual FAI reaction - 'we've been robbed, the honesty of the game...'

"There was one match against Georgia where Ireland got a penalty and it was one of the worst decisions I've ever seen which changed the whole course of the game.

"I don't remember the FAI after the game saying we should give them a replay."

Talking specifically about France's winner, Keane laid the blame on Ireland's defence rather than Henry, who handled the ball before crossing for William Gallas to head in.

"I'd focus on why they didn't clear it," he said.

"I'd be more annoyed with my defenders and my goalkeeper than Thierry Henry. How can you let the ball bounce in your six-yard box? How can you let Thierry Henry get goal-side of you?

"If the ball goes into the six-yard box, where the hell is my goalkeeper?"

Keane's antipathy towards the FAI stems back to the Pacific island of Saipan seven years ago when he left the team's pre-World Cup training camp, complaining that the facilities were sub-standard.

"People seem to forget what was going on in that World Cup, and that man (FAI chief executive John Delaney) is on about honesty. I was one of the players and he didn't have the courtesy to ring me," he said.

"I'd been involved with Ireland since I was 15 years of age and that man didn't have the decency to make a phone call. He could have phoned me, of course he could have."

Ferguson joins the debate

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