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Tuesday, 13 August, 2002, 07:47 GMT 08:47 UK
Should Keane face FA fine?
Sir Alex Ferguson jumps to Roy keane's defence after his admission that he deliberately injured Manchester City's Alf-Inge Haaland in a derby game 18 months ago.
Should the United captain be punished?
This debate is now closed.
Ferguson believes his captain has "no case to answer" over the claims in his book that he intentionally injured Haaland.
Keane was quoted as saying he had "waited long enough" to exact revenge on the Norwegian international when he injured Haaland in a derby game 18 months ago.
The tackle - for which Keane was sent off - damaged Haaland's knee ligaments and he has not started a game for City since.
What action should the FA take?
E-mails supporting Keane
I agree with some people below who say that Keane should not be punished for being honest. However, I do think that the original offence was clearly premeditated and he should have received a much longer ban for it at the time. If people believe that violence makes sport more 'interesting', they need to be watching boxing. Football is about teamwork and skill.
Keane should not be penalised after his revelation. I believe he has no case to answer.
I do not think the FA have any right to fine Keane, he has already been punished for this offence and therefore should not face any further charges from the FA.
On the other hand I think by admitting what he has done he has made it very difficult for himself if Haaland decides to sue him. As we have seen in previous cases when a player is forced to retire from the game due to an injury caused by another player and if the tackle seems reckless then it often goes to court. As Keane has admitted that it was on purpose and as Haaland's career is as good as over he will probably win if he takes Keane to court.
Where is this ridiculous witch hunt going to end? Perhaps any boxer who throws a low punch should be charged with ABH? Or maybe high tackles in rugby could carry a mandatory jail term? Roy Keane plays a physical contact sport at the highest level, and as such is required to demonstrate such aggression to be able to compete successfully.
I believe if everyone was as honest as he has been then we would all admit that confrontations such as these were one of the things that we love about the game. In this case, he over-stepped the mark but was punished appropriately through the laws of the game.
He should not be punished - every footballer in the country commits revenge tackles. Roy is just passionate - he is a red blooded male, and is just being honest. I have seen far worse tackles than that where the player didn't even get booked. Football has become a sissy game! All they care about is their pretty cars and their huge pay check.
I think all the people calling for Roy to be banned for life are just sad and jealous of Roy and Man Utd in general. Gerrard and Vieira hand out the same kind of tackles week in week out but they're too afraid to admit to it. All the other fans would do anything to have Roy in their team.
Despite the vicious and vindictive attempts by the English media to vilify Keane, he retains the support of the vast majority of Irish and United fans and should in no way be punished for being honest.
If you think that the FA should take the opinion that Keane's tackle was assault and he should be banned, then I'm afraid that half of the players in the Premiership and the rest of the other leagues around the world should also be banned as this happens all of the time.
Keane should not be used as a scapegoat just because the media and football fans jealous of Man Utd are against him. If you got the honest truth when you asked almost any player whether they've gone in to a tackle to deliberately get the man, the response would alarm you.
Look at Diego Tristan's effort to get Beckham out of the World Cup in that game in the Champions League. He didn't even get sent off, and it was obvious what he was trying to do - ruin England's chances in the World Cup.
Roy should not be punished - he was given a ban by the FA. A tackle like that is in the game, if you don't want to play then sit at home and watch the TV.
Why should Keane be punished? He has served a three-match ban for the tackle already - it's over, in the past. Keane is only outlining in his book what he was thinking at the time of the incident.
I like the way all you English critics seem to put Keane down. Do I detect a hint of Jealousy? England have had many "choppers" in their day yet no one calls for them to be banned and as for Gary Walkers comments that he shouldn't be allowed to play again, I find unbelievable!
Where would United be without Keane? They wouldn't have won the European Cup, two Premiership titles and an FA Cup and would barely be a top six team. He's twice the player Beckham is anyway!
Putting aside my Manyoo hatred, Keane's only real crime here is being honest. How many players have released boring, sanitised, ghost written autobiographies that say nothing? Keane at least has the guts to tell the truth.
Just because a person has the balls to admit what we all know occurs week in week out doesn't mean he should receive extra punishment on top of a suspension already served.
Chopper Harris prided himself on such things and players like Gerrard, Le Saux and Vieira consistently do it but have yet to admit it. Honesty it seems isn't always the best policy.
Keane was punished when he committed the foul. He got a red card and the three-match ban. It was a bad tackle but these things happen.
An awful lot of tackles are made to get the man if they can't get the ball. That makes them premeditated. If you know you're not going to get the ball and still dive in should the FA not punish you for a premeditated foul?
He was punished enough when he received the three-game ban after his red card. If there was no revenge, aggression and in some cases hatred in the game, football just wouldn't be as interesting.
Once again the witch hunt begins. How many times to you hear old pros now earning a nice living as soccer pundits go on about the good old days when they set out to target an opposing player?
Let's not play innocent here. We all know it still goes on in football - just ask players like Beckham, Giggs and Scholes. It is still part and parcel of the game. Whilst I'm sure Keane might have wanted to give Haaland a bruise or two I'm quite sure he didn't intend ligament damage.
If it was so easy to premeditate such an injury I think we would have quite a few more similar injuries being inflicted on flair players. Things like this happen every day in football - just ask any Sunday league player who has been kicked up in the air for the umpteenth time by a six foot bruiser with a hangover and attitude to match.
Isn't it time the FA got on with something better to do than start a witch hunt before we have even kicked off the season?
No way should Keane be punished for telling it as it is. Players do these things deliberately all the time but keep quiet about it. It's not in Keane's nature to keep quiet. He is just keeping it real.
E-mails against Keane
It is quite staggering that the only defence offered for Keane's pre-meditated attack on Haaland is that other players do the same but do not admit to it. Does it follow that criminals who confess should not be prosecuted, since there are bound to be other criminals at large who have not confessed to their crimes?
Roy Keane should be banned for three months minimum. A fine will have no impact with amount he earns.
I thought when you published this topic it was a bit silly, as there surely couldn't be anyone on the planet you could put forward a constructive defence for Keane. But sadly there are. Talk of a witch hunt is pathetic. So too is all this "he's been punished already" (the same nonsense we had with Cantona). It's a simple concept. That is the law.
If you assault somebody in your job, put them out of work for 18 months and stupidly admit it, you don't just get punished at work, but by the law too. Football is no more a place for intentional career ending assaults than cricket or tennis.
It certainly shows the level of integrity of Sir Alex. How can anyone with any sense support such a cynical act on a fellow professional? Keane should have been banned for the entire length of Alfie Haaland's enforced injury lay-off.
Keane is a disgrace to football, and should be severely punished for his actions. He is an embarrassment to both club and country.
I'm currently recovering from an operation after rupturing my cruciate ligaments, and have been out of sport for 18 months. The thought that someone would inflict such an injury deliberately is frankly sickening. Strong tackles definitely have a place in football, but deliberately injuring an opponent has absolutely nothing to do with the game.
Keane is not a hero, or brave for being honest. He is stupid and arrogant, because he sees nothing wrong in what he has done.
I can't believe that there are so many blinkered, stupid people willing to defend Keane over what was an act of blatant thuggery. He tried to put a fellow professional out of the game because of a brainless vendetta, and the FA must take a stand.
As for the argument that this kind of thing happens all the time, that was one of the worst "tackles" I have ever seen. I hope Haaland takes him to the cleaners.
I cannot believe the people who are saying that there is no case to answer. The FA should have thrown the book at Keane at the time of the offence. Everybody new it was premeditated at the time, but for Keane to gloat about this in a book is plainly stupid. If the FA do not ban Keane for the rest of the season then they will be bringing the game into disrepute. He is a disgrace to football.
Keane should be hung out to dry by the FA. He's been a disgrace to the game for years, with his screaming at referees, his conceited attitude and violent behaviour.
As someone who is supposed to be a role model as captain of one of England's bigger clubs, a message should be sent to kids. He should be banned for a year at least.
I have been a Man Utd fan for 25 years but the present behaviour of Keane together with the apparent 'endorsement' of Ferguson makes it very difficult to have optimism for the forthcoming season. Even if Keane holds up all three major cups at the end of the season there will be a sour taste in the mouth for any right thinking fan . Keane is a thug who would have been arrested in any other context for his pre-meditated attack on Haaland.
I respected Keane as an effective footballer even though he is not half as good as he thinks he is. As a man the guy is a petulant, egotistical joke.
This is not sport. Anyone who intentionally hurts someone should be severely dealt with. It's not just an injury; it's a career, a family, a club, and the fans hopes and money that are being jeopardised.
If Haaland did wrong, deal with him but this only confirms what we've all suspected for a long time, Keane is a nasty bit of work and not a true sportsman. Man Utd should not defend this action nor should Keane's sponsors. However, and with regret, money is far bigger than sport now!
When Keane damaged his ligaments resulting in an injury that lasted a season, few disagreed that this was divine justice. Perhaps the fiery Irishman is again tempting fate with the sporting gods. In sport and life, what goes around comes around - he's overdue!
Roy Keane should be suspended by the PFA and an investigation should take place. Pending such an enquiry other players should refuse to take to the pitch with someone who intentionally causes career ending challenges.
Professional sport can do without vicious thugs like Keane. He sets the worst possible example and as a role model is a disgrace. If his admissions are as reported then he has committed a premeditated act of violence which constitutes a criminal offence.
Given those circumstances he should be sacked by Man Utd, banned by the FA and prosecuted by the police. To not do so will expose the relevant parties as unprincipled and without good ethic. Sir Alex needs to demonstrate that he is worthy of his title and refrain from the shabby and pathetic responses he has displayed thus far. Fat hope.
Here's an example for you: Jim McMahon, a Quarterback for Chicago Bears, was upended deliberately in a NFL game years ago by a Pittsburgh Steeler player. He had only just come back from a shoulder injury and the attacking player deliberately set out to re-injure the shoulder. The offending player was fined and expelled from the NFL for life within a week!
The FA should some guts for a change, or will this come 'part and parcel of the game'. What will Fergie say if Vieira or Shearer sets out to injure, say, Beckham in a game this season? Will that be okay Fergie?
There is no place for retribution within the Game. Keane made a calculated decision to harm a fellow professional, and his actions were indefensible. It is premeditated assault and should be punished as an example to young players and spectators of the game.
No individual person should be above the laws and spirit of the game. Man Utd need to consider whether this is the type of player they wish to have as their captain.
It dismays me that so many people here in Ireland allow their nationality to blind them to Roy Keane's misdeeds. In this country at least he still has an army of unthinking acolytes.
For me he is a product of the insane, media-driven world which we now inhabit. On Saipan his egomania was given full expression as the entire world watched. Roy Keane makes me ashamed to be Irish.
Stam was immediately sold after a "controversial" book by Ferguson. Now the same Fergusson feels he has to defend Keane. I think he's a hypocrite.
Anyone who by their own admission sets out to injure another player to the extent that their career could be ruined deserves more than Keane got by way of punishment. Alex Ferguson, desperate to regain his position as a great manager, now comes in on Keane's side praying that Keano, thus buoyed up, will help deliver him some silverware. Pathetic, self serving and amoral.
Keane has now admitted to what in the normal world would be a serious criminal offence. He should be prosecuted as soon as possible, and the FA should ban him from playing if he is found guilty - preferably for life.
He can plea for mitigation in terms of his "provocation" by Haaland, but I don't think he deserves any credit. He is meant to be a professional and he has behaved like an animal.
The insanity that surrounds football makes Keane's admission unsurprising and depressing for those of in this country who are not interested in the game. All I can see is the huge cost in terms of broken heads, drunkenness, violence, racism, sectarianism, greed and thuggery - and that is both off and on the pitch.
This was a violent assault and footballers cannot be above the law. The likelihood that other players also commit deliberate acts of aggression does not excuse this.
I am saddened to hear Mr Ferguson to invoke Haaland's rather inconsequential comments in the press in the years leading up to the Manchester derby. There was nothing that I can remember that was particularly provocative, and even if there was, violence is unjustifiable.
I speak as a Manchester United fan of some 30 years. Let's be sober about this - wrong is wrong. After his castigation of his United team mates, his verbal attack on his Ireland boss and now this, I am left with the impression of a terribly egocentric Keane. I have always thought of him as an attractive character, but truly I am saddened by what has been said.
What that man did amounts to assault occasioning actual bodily harm. Never mind the FA banning him, he should be charged with aforementioned crime and punished to the full extent of the law. As for Alex Ferguson, that man should be ashamed to have to defend him.
If I were manager of Man Utd, I would have sacked him yesterday on Tuesday. The FA should also ban him for life, not only for the good of football but also for the FA to be seen to be upholding the law.
If a cricketer clobbered another player with his bat he would be banned for life. Why should the conduct of a footballer be viewed any differently?
Irrespective of Keane's past and his unquestioned ability, this is an entirely new issue. The issue is that he has admitted to setting out to injure a fellow professional. The seriousness of this must dictate to the FA how to proceed, and they must not be afraid of his standing within the game, nor that of Alex Ferguson who will no doubt defend him 100%.
Haaland has barely played since the incident, and Keane's admission here may be something he lives to regret. Whatever the situation, to set out to injure and hurt a fellow professional in the manner described by Keane is something worthy of expulsion from the game. There can be no question about that.
Roy has lost the plot - if his statements are true about Haaland then his professionalism has to be questioned. It seems he was more interested in personal revenge rather than the greater good of the team.
After the World Cup tantrum its appears that his personal 'battles' are his driving motivation - and as a Man Utd fan I want to see the team perform rather than Roy given the opportunity to settle old scores and act in a self obsessed petulant manner.
He has got to perform this season and act as a captain should. As for the Haaland issue - if found guilty he should have the book thrown at him.
The FA should make a big issue of this. It was a despicable pre-meditated act; and one that ruined somebody's career. If Keane is made an example of then it might serve to discourage others from doing the same. A ban and a fine (with the money going to an injured footballer's fund) would be a start
Roy Keene is a disgrace to football. What kind of example does this set to young players? At a time when football is fighting a resurfacing hooligan problem, what message does this send to the thugs on the terraces?
I hope that the courts and the FA really throw the book at him this time and kick Keene out of the game for good. It's about time Roy Keene got his just deserts!
Carelessness or over-enthusiasm on the pitch is one thing, but this is too much. Roy Keane needs to calm down and grow up, as also shown by his row with Mick McCarthy. He's a disgrace to the game, however good a midfielder he is, at both club and international level.
Keane is on a path to self-destruction. He's always been a bit odd, but now he's definitely losing it. He's becoming isolated at Man Utd, protected only by the manager; he completely lost it at the World Cup and still can't calm down about it. Then he teams up with another bitter little man - Eamonn Dunphy - to come out with a book which leaves him open to all sorts of repercussions.
He seems to be so frustrated with life that he's destroying himself. The thing he needs to realise is, his outbursts are hurting no one but himself. Football, Man Utd, Alex Ferguson, Ireland, and Mick McCarthy will all continue without Roy Keane. The reverse is not true. He needs to grow up and work this out.
Keane has given the FA a real problem, while they surely know that what he has done is not unusual, he has now admitted it, and it has tarnished the image of football.
Strong action must be taken against Keane so that young impressionable fans will not see this as acceptable conduct. Also strong action against Keane may allow Haaland to see justice has been done. If Haaland does sue and win, he will not be the last footballer to do so. Ultimately this may result in football becoming a non-contact sport.
Keane has shown his arrogance on a number of occasions. He thinks because he is Ferguson's blue eyed boy he can do what he likes. The FA should come down on him like a tonne of bricks and ban him for at least a whole season. The man is a coward and a bully.
In rugby, players have been charged with assault for injuries inflicted on opponents - without first admitting any pre-meditation. Roy Keane has publicly admitted setting out to injure Haaland, whether in the course of a football match or not, it is a case of assault and he should be dealt with by the courts accordingly.
Talk of a witch-hunt is nonsense, by ignoring this incident; the FA would actually be damaging football even more than Keane already has.
It's about time that sport in general showed that no one person is bigger than sport. This is not just case of him "telling it like it is". A professional has wilfully ruined another's career and livelihood. Roy Keane should be sued for millions by Haaland and I hope he gets it.
Football being a contact sport is not a good enough excuse for this. Duncan Ferguson was convicted and sent to prison for his headbutt while playing for Glasgow Rangers. The Crown Prosecution Service should consider Keane's admission to constitute an assault. There were 67,000 witnesses of which 64,000 probably will not come forward. I wonder why.
In a climate where fans are facing life bans from football grounds for violent behaviour, why should Keane be allowed to get away with it?
Man Utd should take action without waiting for the FA. They continue to claim to be the biggest club in the world - let's see them lead by example (it would resolve their over-manning in midfield as well).
If Manchester United had a shred of respect for soccer or civilised society they would sack Keane immediately.
As the best supported club in the world they have a moral obligation to take such action, but unfortunately I expect they will put their own short term selfish interests first and thereby pass up on the opportunity to set a great example to young people and use their enormous influence for good.
Eric Cantona had a long ban for his misdeed. He was severely provoked and didn't brag about it afterwards. Roy Keane has lost the plot big time. He is a great player and I understand that outside of the game is a great guy but at the moment he is a danger to himself, his team and the game in general.
He needs a long enforced break and anger management classes for his own good. For all his skill and money the poor lad has something missing from his life.
I'm not a Man Utd fan but I had always respected Roy Keane as a true football professional. However, after this scenario and the one involving Mick McCarthy, he comes across as an arrogant, vicious, over paid footballer.
If I was in charge of the FA, I'd give him a heavy fine and a lengthy ban. But as he plays for Man Utd he'll probably get fined a week's wages and a smack on his Rolex wearing wrist.
Why this wasn't investigated 16 months ago is a mystery. It wasn't a tackle, it was an assault.
Keane is now exposed for what we all knew he was - a man with a psychological problem. His great play for Man Utd (for which he must be respected) is not enough to save him from a justified reputation as a violent and unattractive person. He is no role model for anyone and I hope Haaland sues. He has enough money to pay for his crime.
I am a fan of United and a huge fan of Keano. He is one of the best players worldwide in his position. This however, does not excuse his misbehaviour and he has shot himself down with his own admission.
Surely, he would not have any grievances about excepting a punishment dished up to him now? I would not expect him to make any excuses, and Keano being the man he is will probably hold his hands up again.
I support United and believe Roy Keane has been a great asset to the club. However, the reason Alex Ferguson enjoys such respect from his players and the club's supporters is the fact he keeps certain matters within the confines of the club.
On this occasion, Roy Keane would have been better advised to follow that aspect of Fergie's behaviour as opposed to mirroring Fergie's memoir publication (what will he have to say when he hangs up his boots!). He already earns enough money and maybe he should have had a lawyer proof-read the book rather than believe he is untouchable (however good a player he is).
Keane is the most arrogant player ever to play in the Premiership. His behaviour is consistently disgraceful. He seems to think he is a law unto himself. I hope The FA take action and ban him, and with any luck Haaland will sue and get compensation.
If Keane's comments and their context are as reported, then he deserves to be banned for life from professional football. This is a man who has been captain of club and country and until shortly, seen as a sporting icon. What example does this set for a new generation of footballers - ABH is alright if it's on a football field? If the FA doesn't act, Haaland's lawyers undoubtedly will.
To go out and exact revenge the way Keane did is unforgivable, he has basically ended Haaland's career. True professionals gain revenge by scoring a goal or inspiring their team to victory not by kicking lumps out of the opposition.
They should throw the book at Keane, his comments and his attitude is a disgrace. If he played for any club other that Man Utd then this would have been done long ago.
As a devoted life-long Man City fan I was shocked when Keane made this admission. Haaland's career has been wrecked because of this injury. Seeing as he has practically given a written confession the FA should do the right thing for once and make an example of Roy Keane.
For a man who is supposed to be the captain of the biggest team in the country he is setting a terrible example to kids. Too many United fans confuse dedication and commitment with aggression and violence on the field.
A fine would be pointless - Keane will undoubtedly make more cash from sales of his book as a result of the publicity. The only way to send a clear message that his behaviour was unacceptable is to ban him from football for a significant period of time - at least a year. At this late stage in Keane's career that would be a real punishment.
I have always admired Roy for being such a motivated and excellent player but I think he should be punished for it by the FA. Having suffered from a bad knee injury himself, Roy should know what Haaland has been through this past year. I think he should be happy if he only gets a few weeks suspension from the FA. Hopefully, nobody will ever do the same to him.
Keane is too much of a loose cannon. The potential to damage players (managers?) who get in his way is an indication of how self-centred he is.
The most worrying thing about this is the mentality of this player, who is supposed to be an inspiration to young people. Let me make sure I understand this... he deliberately fouled a player (which is assault in anyone's book) because he was injured the year before, whilst fouling the same player. The man is clearly a thug, and should be banned from the game, but since money rules these days he will probably be let off with a token fine.
This sort of thing happens in football all the time but to admit to it in public is gross stupidity. Roy Keane has cast a shadow over the game and should be thrown out for good. The sport doesn't need cheats.
Haaland should take him to court and press for a jail term. Anything less and he would have got off lightly. If anyone outside of football injured someone so badly they couldn't work, they would be punished severely in a court of law. The same should apply to Roy.
Keane should never be allowed to play football professionally again.
The man is an absolute disgrace. Who does he think he is? He should be banned for 12 matches. For him to deliberately set out to hurt another pro is beyond compression.
It's simple - ban him for life. Let the courts deal with Keane and the rest of us will get on with football. We don't need his sort influencing a generation of new stars.
It's called assault and if it happened anywhere else the police would be involved - perhaps they should be here?
Haaland has not started a game for eighteen months; therefore Keane must be suspended for eighteen months as well, plus an amount equal to any further delay to Harland's career.
Aiming to injure someone is sick and he should be banned from the game.
People seem to forget that this was the second time he tried to get Haaland. The first time he damaged his own cruciate ligament and was out of action for six months or so.
This really is the last straw. It's time for the FA to really clamp down on the most unpleasant footballer in Britain.
A fine would be meaningless to him. He should face a season's ban. I hope Haaland takes him to court if the police don't charge him with GBH.
Keane should keep quiet and get on with playing football! It's every schoolboys dream to play in the World Cup finals for his country. He earns too much money and considers his opinion to be more important than the game itself. No individual player is bigger than his club, country or the beautiful game.
Giving him headlines and serialising his book just gives him a higher pedestal to air his immature comments and opinions. He should take a leaf out of David Beckham's book, pardon the pun, and do his talking on the pitch! It is after all just a game!
Keane is happy to take large sums of money for being a successful player, but is unwilling to take the responsibility that goes with it. Like it or not he is an example to many fans and in this case he has been a very bad example.
Keane should be banned for a long, long time, ideally life.
He should also be charged by the police. I also hope that Haaland sues him for the injury.
Any player who deliberately injures another should not only be banned from the game for a very long time but also face criminal charges for assault. The idea of a player doing this, no matter the provocation, is indefensible, whoever they play for.
Reading the stories about Keane and for that matter Dennis Wise, I can't help feeling that the real world has passed these people by. In the real world if you hit a fellow co-worker you are instantly dismissed and there is no come back.
Roy Keane does not belong in football.
There should be no place in the game for anyone who makes a tackle that carries with it the intention to seriously injure, and therefore the real possibility of ending the career of a fellow professional.
If the admission of intent is as clear cut as has been presented in the media, and is legally sustainable, the FA should have the courage to set a precedent for this situation, and impose a very lengthy ban. This would seem the only appropriate censure as any fine will mean nothing to a player earning tens of thousands of pounds per week, and in any event, does not address the fundamental nature of the issue.
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