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Sunday, 16 February, 2003, 12:59 GMT
Keane hints at Republic return
Roy Keane
Keane could play again in the future

Roy Keane has suggested that he may play for the Republic of Ireland again just days after announcing his retirement from international football.

The revelation comes on the same day that Keane said the injury that forced his retirement from international football is so serious that he may require a hip replacement in the future.

Keane has not outlined any specific plan to return to the Republic of Ireland team.

But he hinted that at some point in the future he may have fewer commitments domestically and consider a comeback.

''Speaking to Republic manager Brian Kerr was good,'' Keane said in the Irish edition of the Sunday Times newspaper.

If I were the bookies, I wouldn't pay out just yet

Roy Keane
''You know as we were finishing our conversation Kerr said 'You never know what might happen down the road'.

''Well, I believe that, and still think never say never.

''There are people who placed bets on Roy Keane never playing for Ireland again.

''If I were the bookies, I wouldn't pay out just yet.

''The Champions League games that Manchester United play mean it is not feasible just now.

''What would happen if I was at a club that wasn't playing in Europe? You never know.''

And Keane maintained that it was soley his decision to to release a statement announcing his retirement the day before Kerr's first match in charge of the Republic.

''This wasn't the manager or the medical people at United telling me what to do," said the 31-year-old.

"It was my decision, Roy Keane doing what is best for Roy Keane.

Lots of people think I'm the traitor

Roy Keane

''I said to my agent Michael Kennedy 'let's do it now'.

''They said I was disrespectful to the manager. This was my retirement from international football, I decide when to do it.''

And Keane added he felt hurt by being branded a traitor in certain sections of the media.

''Lots of people think I'm the traitor,'' he said.

''I can't worry about that. I believe I have given good service.

''I am not looking for pat on the back. All I would ask is to be judged on what I did on the pitch in my 58 matches for Ireland.''

Republic of Ireland coach Brian Kerr takes charge of the national team for the first time

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11 Feb 03 | Republic of Ireland
03 Feb 03 | Football
12 Feb 03 | Republic of Ireland
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