By Mark Jones
DUBLIN — Former Ireland soccer captain Roy Keane and his club, Manchester United, are being sued followed admissions by Keane that he set out to deliberately injure an opponent during an English Premiership game last year.
Keane has admitted in an extract from his soon to be published autobiography that he intended to injure the Manchester City player, Alf Inge Haaland, during a match at Old Trafford in April 2001.
“I’d waited long enough. I [expletive] hit him hard. The ball was there [I think]. Take that you [expletive]. I didn’t wait for the referee to show the red card. I turned and walked to the dressing room,” Keane is quoted in the book, which has been ghostwritten by Irish journalist and broadcaster Eamon Dunphy.
Following Keane’s admission that the tackle was premeditated, Haaland’s club, Manchester City, say they intend to sue both Keane and Manchester United for _5 million in damages.
However, in a further development, Dunphy has claimed that Keane did not in fact make the controversial comments regarding the tackle on the Norwegian Haaland. Dunphy said he had used “artistic license” and had “paraphrased” Keane’s opinions. “I am as much responsible for the passage about Haaland as Roy,” he said. “There is artistic license, I should take the rap. But he won’t let me. Fair play to him.”
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Keane, who was sent home from the recent World Cup finals following a bitter row with manager Mick McCarthy, has also criticized former Ireland manager Jack Charlton in his book, which is entitled “Keane The autobiography.” Keane accuses Charlton of being a bully and of portraying the Irish as “little people.”
“We were ill-prepared and unprofessional and we boasted about it,” Keane says of the Charlton era, which saw the Irish reach two World Cup finals. “The Charlton myth suggests he was a genius who transformed the fortunes of ‘the Irish,’ an expression I felt he used frequently to give the impression that ‘the Irish’ were little people who had learned all they knew about football from him. My relationship with Charlton was virtually non-existent. He was a bully who neither frightened nor impressed me.”