Hier die Rekonstruktion des Tathergangs, der zur Verabschiedung Roy Keanes aus dem irischen WM-Kader führte. Man beachte insbesondere Absatz 3, der die auf herzerfrischend rustikale Art ausgetragenen zwischenmenschlichen Dissonanzen zwischen Spieler und Trainer dokumentiert.
After announcing he was to return home, then changing his mind on the advice of his Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson, Keane gave an interview to an Irish newspaper in which he repeated his criticisms and said he would retire from international football after the World Cup.
Incensed, McCarthy called a meeting of the entire 23-man squad and coaching staff and asked anyone with a grievance to make it known. Just one voice, Keane's, was raised.
He said: "Who the fuck do you think you are, having meetings about me? You were a crap player, you are a crap manager. The only reason I have any dealings with you is that somehow you are manager of my country and you're not even Irish, you English cunt. You can stick it up your bollocks."
Keane then walked out of the meeting. McCarthy told the remaining squad-members he was minded to send Keane home and asked: "Are we together on this?" There were no objections. Confirmation of the insults Keane used came last night from a source within the Irish camp.
McCarthy, whose father was from Waterford, played 57 times for Ireland and captained them at the 1990 World Cup in Italy, when they reached the quarter finals. He once said: "I have an emotional tie with Ireland that'll never be broken. I've just got the wrong accent!"
Keane spent last night in Tokyo and is expected to arrive in Manchester this morning.