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Roy Keane: Ireland Don't Deserve A Replay Against France

Ipswich Town manager Roy Keane has blasted the FAI, and John Delaney in particular, after the Republic of Ireland's request for their World Cup qualifying play-off against France to be replayed was turned down by FIFA today.

The former Manchester United was in typically forthright form at a press conference today and hinted that the situation was pay-back for the dishonesty and lack of integrity he feels the FAI have shown in the past.

"I've been amazed at the commotion that's been going for the last few days," he told reporters.

"I think we're on about Henry's handball - of course he handled it - but I'd focus on why they [Ireland's defenders] didn't clear it.

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

"And as the ball bounced in the six yard box I'd be saying 'where the hell's my goalkeeper?'"

As for whether the integrity of the game had been damaged, as many at the FAI have asserted, Keane disagreed strongly.

"No," he stated, when asked. "No, not one bit.

"You look over the course of the campaign, Ireland had their chances in the two games. They never took it in the first game, they never performed.

"I heard a few interviews after the games where the manager was speaking about none of the players got booked. Maybe that was the problem. Maybe they should have got booked in the first game because we stood off France.

"In the second half we had opportunities to score and we didn't take it.

"But the usual FAI reaction - 'We've been robbed!', 'the honesty of the game!'

"There was one of the group games, I'm sure it was 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 think Robbie [Keane] scored the penalty and Ireland went on to win it.

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

"John Delaney? He's on about the honesty and integrity of the game. I wouldn't take any notice of that man.

"People forget the last time Ireland were at the World Cup in 2002. People seem to forget what was going on at that World Cup, and that man's on about honesty.

"I was one of the players. He didn't even 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 with Ireland since I was 15 years of age, and that man didn't even have the decency to make a phone call.

"They should have cleared the ball.

"I think the Irish supporters probably deserve better, I think their manager and most of their players deserve better but I'm not sure the FAI deserve better.

"What goes around comes around."

Zack Wilson,

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