Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Time a Keane Healer for Delaney

Football Association of Ireland Chief Executive, John Delaney, said he had "no issue" with Roy Keane and they had drawn a line under the past but relations between the two have not always been sweetness and light.

The chief executive of the Football Association of Ireland said he had been happy to accede to the wished of Martin O'Neill and appoint Keane as his No2 but if he had hoped the past would go away, it was immediately resurrected by the Newstalk radio station.

It played a Keane outburst against the then honorary treasurer of the FAI who had backed the manager Mick McCarthy's decision to send the captain home from the Republic of Ireland's World Cup camp.

Keane had expressed his frustrations with the side's preparations for the 2002 World Cup in Saipan, leading to a furious row during which he told McCarthy. "I didn't rate you as a player, I don't rate you as a manager, and I don't rate you as a person.

"You're a fucking wanker and you can stick your World Cup up your arse. The only reason I have any dealings with you is that somehow you are the manager of my country! You can stick it up your bollocks."

Delaney said at the time that his organisation fully supported McCarthy's decision and that the FAI was concerned only with the well-being of the squad.

In the verbal assault on the now chief executive back in 2002, Keane said: "Who, John Delaney, I wouldn't take any notice of that man. You know, reaction we've been robbed, the honesty of the game, people seem to forget what was going on in that World Cup – and that man's on about honesty.

"I was one of the players and he didn't have the courtesy to ring me. He got interviewed and all he said was 'I don't know where he is. He's on the island somewhere I think'.

"I've been involved in Ireland since I was 15 years of age and that man didn't even have the decency to make a phone call. He could've phoned me, course he could've. Try my hotel room."

Delaney tried to smooth things over on Tuesday. "I think we've all said things at part of our lives that we regret," he said. "We all say things at a point in time that are relevant. But anything that would've been said by Roy or I to each other or about each other is irrelevant because Irish football in our country is bigger than anything."

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