Pet issue: Roy Keane pictured at a photocall for the Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind. The former Ireland captain condemned the FAI’s efforts to get the France-Ireland World Cup play-off match replayed.
Former Republic of Ireland and Manchester United captain Roy Keane has responded to the Thierry Henry handball controversy in Paris this week by coming out strongly against the FAI by saying that Ireland has only itself to blame for not making it to the World Cup finals in South Africa next year.
In a press conference, the Ipswich manager said that he was “amazed at all the commotion” over the controversy caused by France captain Thierry Henry’s hand ball which resulted in the vital goal being scored in the World Cup qualifier against Ireland in Paris on Wednesday night.
He admitted that Henry had handled the ball but criticised the actions of the Ireland goalkeeper and defender. When asked if the integrity of the game was questioned by what had happened, Keane said “not one bit”.
As for what the FAI and its chief executive John Delaney had to say about the hand ball incident, he replied ” I wouldn’t take any notice of that man” and “what goes around, comes around”.
Keane said that his country’s national team only had itself to blame for their defeat and should have defended the free kick better. He admitted Henry had handled the ball but said that “the game is full of it”.
During the press conference, a journalist’s mobile phone interrupted proceedings which prompted an angry reaction from Keane saying it was the second time his phone rang and reminded him to turn it off.
In a media statement, Henry said that the second France match against Ireland should be replayed. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said he believes the only fair option was for the game to be replayed.
In his Hold the Back Page sports column in today’s Irish Times, Niall Kiely wrote “what’d anyone expect, given a game run by Blatters and played, let’s be blunt about it, mainly by diving and cheating bowsies?”
Golfer Graeme McDowell, from the North of Ireland, was rooting for Trapattoni’s men on Wednesday night. He said he was taking a moral stance by refusing to use Gillette razors, which Henry endorses, ever again.