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Tuesday, 11 February, 2003, 18:17 GMT
Keane quits international scene
Roy Keane
Keane took his decision on medical advice
Roy Keane has announced his retirement from international football in order to prolong his career with Manchester United.

Keane was expected to be brought back into the Republic of Ireland squad under new coach Brian Kerr.

But the 31-year-old midfielder, sent home from last year's World Cup after a fall-out with then boss Mick McCarthy, decided to retire after taking medical advice.

"During a meeting with Brian Kerr last week he outlined to me his future plans for the Irish team," said Keane.

"It was my first meeting with Brian and I formulated the opinion that the Irish team was in very capable hands.

The unequivocal advice given to me by my doctors was that I should not return

Roy Keane

"It has always been my desire to play again for Ireland and, following my meeting with Brian, I discussed in depth with my manager Alex Ferguson, my wife and my immediate family the possibility of my return to international football.

"I also consulted with my medical team who operated upon my hip last September.

"The unequivocal advice given to me by my doctors was that I should not return to international football.

Keane factfile
1987: Joins semi-pro League of Ireland club Cobh Ramblers
1990: 12 June - Signed by Brian Clough for Nottingham Forest for 10,000
1991: Makes Republic of Ireland debut in 1-1 draw with Chile in Dublin
1993: 19 July - Joins Man Utd for then British transfer record 3.75m
2002: 23 May - Sent home from the World Cup after a row with Mick McCarthy
Ireland apps: 58
Ireland goals: 9

"In the light of such advice I regret that I am compelled to confirm my retirement from international football.

"I am extremely grateful for all the support I have received in recent months and I am equally sorry that I am unable to play again for my country.

"I wish Brian and the players the best in the future. They will have my full support at all times."

Kerr was officially unveiled as the new Irish boss last month and had professed his desire to lure Keane back into the international fold.

But on Tuesday, Kerr professed his disappointment at the announcement.

He said: "I had a meeting with Roy Keane last Thursday for three hours and the meeting went very well.

"Roy gave me an unequivocal commitment that he would be back to play in the team.

"But on Friday, I believe he met the medical people from Manchester United and, as a result of that meeting, he called me to say that he was having to re-think his position.

"I was obviously disappointed."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Republic of Ireland manager Brian Kerr
"I'm going to move on with the players I have"
Republic of Ireland coach Brian Kerr takes charge of the national team for the first time

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03 Feb 03 | Football
12 Feb 03 | N Ireland
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