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Newz Forum: SOCCER: Roy Keane to play for Republic of Ireland

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posted on Apr, 13 2004 @ 02:20 PM
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Roy Keane has sensationally agreed to play for the Republic of Ireland again.The Manchester United captain met Ireland manager Brian Kerr last week and told him he would make himself available for selection.
 

Keane, the former Republic captain, has not played for his country since his highly publicised row with former international manager Mick McCarthy shortly before the start of the 2002 World Cup finals.The 33-year-old, who has won 58 caps, announced his retirement from international football soon afterwards.The player flew home from a training camp just before the 2002 World Cup and said he would not play for Ireland again while McCarthy was in charge.McCarthy's resignation later that year sparked speculation that Keane would return under new manager Kerr. At that stage, Keane appeared to be on the verge of agreeing to return.However, influenced by United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, Keane eventually announced his international retirement, saying his main focus was on prolonging his club career.Republic boss Kerr, describing Keane as one of the Republic's greatest ever players, said United's approval had been a sticking point.Keane's return will be a boost to the Republic's World Cup qualification campaign which starts with a home game against Cyprus in September.There may be concerns, though, about what impact Keane's dramatic return will have on team morale.Keane, who has 58 caps, last played for Ireland in the final World Cup warm-up match in May 2002 when the Republic lost 2-1 to Nigeria.




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