Keane savages 'mentally weak' Ireland players

Roy Keane yesterday launched a savage attack on the Republic of Ireland players and the Irish football establishment for their complaints about Thierry Henry's handball and told them they were just sympathy-seeking, "mentally weak" hypocrites who should "get over it".

Even by Keane's standards it was an extraordinary rant which laid waste to a number of the former Ireland captain's enemies including the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) chief executive John Delaney, and the team-mates that he believed betrayed him at the 2002 World Cup finals.

Although Keane returned to play for the Ireland team two years after his walkout from the World Cup training base in Saipan in 2002, he has clearly never forgiven Delaney. Now Ipswich Town manager, his implied attack on the likes of Robbie Keane, Shay Given and Damien Duff – all relatively junior players in 2002 – underlined his utter contempt for Irish football.

Ahead of Ipswich's game against Sheffield Wednesday today Keane said that his former team-mates only had themselves to blame. "Ireland had chances at Croke Park and in Paris but didn't take them," he said. "France were there for the taking but Ireland never grabbed it – as usual.

"They were afraid of that next step and were mentally not strong enough. They can complain all they want. That is not going to change anything. France are going to the World Cup – get over it. They want sympathy as usual. It is the usual carry on and it is boring."

The Irish have not made it to a major tournament since 2002 when Keane walked out because of what he described as Ireland's "Third World" approach to their training camp and preparations.

Keane also accused the Irish of hypocrisy for winning a dubious penalty given for handball against Ucha Lobjanidze in their win over Georgia in February. He said: "It is the usual FAI reaction – 'we've been robbed', 'the honesty of the game' but there was one of the group matches [Georgia] when Ireland got a penalty for a handball and no one had appealed for it.

"It was one of the worst decisions I have ever seen and it changed the game and the group. Robbie Keane scored the penalty and Ireland went on to win but I don't remember the FAI saying 'You know what? The referee made a howler, let's give them a replay.' It is the same principle.

"It [Henry's handball to set up William Gallas's decisive goal] was instinct for Henry. Would I call him a cheat? No I wouldn't think so. Did he bend the rule a little? Maybe. You see cheating going on all the time. Nobody wants a cheat. I wouldn't agree that Henry is a cheat. He is a top, top player who took advantage of the situation.

"I don't feel the game has been damaged one bit. Ireland had the chances. They never took the chance in the first game. They never performed. I heard an interview after the first game when the manager said none of the players got booked – maybe that was the problem, maybe the players should have got booked because they stood off France. In the second game we had opportunities and didn't take them."

Keane saved his harshest words for Delaney who he accused of lying about not knowing of his own whereabouts in a press conference during the Saipan crisis seven years ago. "He talks about the honesty and integrity of the game but I would not take any notice of that man," Keane said. "People forget what went on in the World Cup in 2002 and that man talks about honesty. I have been involved with Ireland since I was 15 years but he didn't have the decency to even make a phone call – and he goes on about the honesty of the game."

News
The Banksy image in Folkestone before it was vandalised
people
Life and Style
tech

Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts

Sport
Louis van Gaal at the Hawthorns prior to Manchester United's game against West Brom
football

Follow the latest updates from the Monday night Premier League fixture

News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Bloom Time: Mira Sorvino
tvMira Sorvino on leaving movie roles for 'The Intruders'
News
Brian Harvey turned up at Downing Street today demanding to speak to the Prime Minister
news

Met Police confirm there was a 'minor disturbance' and that no-one was arrested

Arts and Entertainment
George Lucas poses with a group of Star Wars-inspired Disney characters at Disney's Hollywood Studios in 2010
films

George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios

Voices
Chris Grayling, Justice Secretary: 'There are pressures which we are facing but there is not a crisis'
voices

Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?

Life and Style
A street vendor in Mexico City sells Dorilocos, which are topped with carrot, jimaca, cucumber, peanuts, pork rinds, spices and hot sauce
food + drink

Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets

News
Blackpool is expected to become one of the first places to introduce the Government’s controversial new Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs)
news

Concerns raised phenomenon is threatening resort's image as a family destination

Life and Style
gaming

I Am Bread could actually be a challenging and nuanced title

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album
Hugh Bonneville & Peter James: 'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'

How We Met: Hugh Bonneville & Peter James

'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's heavenly crab dishes don't need hours of preparation

Bill Granger's heavenly crab recipes

Scared off by the strain of shelling a crab? Let a fishmonger do the hard work so you can focus on getting the flavours right
Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

After a remarkable conversion from reckless defender to prolific striker, Monaco's ace says he wants to make his loan deal at Old Trafford permanent
Terry Venables: Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England

Terry Venables column

Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England
The Inside Word: Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past

Michael Calvin's Inside Word

Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past