BBC SPORT Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese

BBC Sport
 You are in: Sports Talk  
Sport Front Page
Rugby Union
Rugby League
Other Sports
Special Events
Sports Talk
BBC Pundits
TV & Radio
Question of Sport
Photo Galleries
Funny Old Game
Around The UK: 
N Ireland

BBC Sport Academy
BBC News
BBC Weather

Saturday, 31 August, 2002, 17:14 GMT 18:14 UK
Time to teach Keane a lesson?
Roy Keane sees red against Sunderland
Roy Keane is sent off for the 10th time in his career in the final minute of Manchester United's 1-1 draw at Sunderland.

How should the FA act?


Despite growing scrutiny of his behaviour, Keane was unable to contain his hostility toward former Republic of Ireland team-mate Jason McAteer.

Following an earlier spat, the United captain lashed out at the Sunderland player with his elbow in the dying moments of the game.

The FA is due to decide early next week whether to bring a disrepute charge against Keane after he admitted he set out to injure Alfie Haaland in the Manchester derby in April 2000.

How should Keane be treated?


Roy Keane is without doubt one of the greatest players that Man Utd have ever had. He has carried the team for a few years now and perhaps the pressure of that has pushed him over the edge. I think that for his own sake, and for the sake of whatever sanity he has left he should seriously consider walking away from the game.

His antics during the summer have already ruined his reputation on the international scene. I think the Haaland incident and the McAteer incident may be one and the same, as after his expulsion from the World Cup he hinted that he would be exacting some revenge on his former international team mates. This is very quickly ruining his reputation at club level as well.

He should be made to teach the laws of the game to schoolboys
Bill McLean, USA

I hope that he walks away from the game now, while the fans still have some respect left for him. If he cannot make that decision himself, maybe it is up to Alex Ferguson to start managing his team and make the decision for him.
Ciarán, Ireland

How like the coward he is for Keane to wait until the end of the match to lash out at McAteer. That way he could avoid retaliation. He thinks he's such a hard man. He should be made to teach the laws of the game to schoolboys. Maybe some of them would sink in. Obviously he missed the boat when "play the ball not the man" was the order of the day.
Bill McLean, USA

PLEASE keep things in perspective here. Roy Keane "elbowed" someone - has anyone ever played football here? Did anyone see the bad-tempered darling Beckham kick and niggle a number of Sunderland players or McAteer's persistent fouling of Keane - or did anyone see Ashley Cole's behavious (again) against Chelsea?

It seems like the world goes mad every time Keane does anything wrong. For those baying for blood and making utterly uniform statements about Keane's disciplinary record - the fact is that he has not nearly the worst disciplinary record in the Premiership. Compare it with Vieira's, for example, and Keane is practically smelling of roses.

But perhaps all you hysterical over-reacters want football to be totally sanitized, and you can all bore each other to death. I hope, for Keane's sake, that he quits the game - the supporters are no longer worth his talent.
Neil, Singapura

The FA should fine Jason McAteer for baiting Keane
Denis, Wales

I can't help but think that Keane is just a little to big for those Diadora boots of his. Whilst I love him as a player and genuinely believe he is one of the greatest midfielders in the world, his continual disregard for rules and sanity makes me want to slap him myself.

We all saw how he reacted to refs over the last couple of seasons - rushing up and screaming in their faces, the complete lack of respect for Mick McCarthy and the Ireland squad and his continual issue with disciplinary points.

He is an aggressive and arrogant little so-and-so, who knows that he is able to hide behind the biggest club in the world. It's about time that Fergie rollocked him and punished him as he deserves.

Ok Roy, we know you are a star, everyone knows that you are a better player than McCarthy ever was, so why not grow up a little bit and get on with doing what you do best... being the lynch pin of the Utd side, and hopefully leading them to Champions League glory.
Mike Lewis, England

The FA should fine Jason McAteer for baiting Keane with his gestures and also investigate what Niall Quinn was doing as Keane went off. There are too many cheats and not enough men in the game.
Denis, Wales

Keane should be banned for at least a season
Chris, UK

At the end of the 80s/beginning of the 90s Paul Davis, playing for Arsenal, punched a Southampton player and broke his jaw. For this unpremeditated attack he received a record (I think) nine-match ban.

The talk of a four-match ban for Keane's premeditated revenge is ridiculous - he should be banned for at least a season.

If he carried on the way he does in a Sunday League team he would have been banned for life long ago.
Chris, UK

Once again the English media have all these great comments about how Keane should be sent packing etc. I wonder what would happen if the shoe was on the other foot.

If Keane was English he would be seen as a national hero. He no bigger a thug than Woodgate and Bowyer yet their selection to the English squad has brought great praise from the media.

Roy is a world-class player with a talent that no other Premiership footballer has. It's time for the media to lay off him and concentrate on other matters.
Wayne Kennedy, Armagh

Roy Keane is cutting an increasingly ludicrous figure in the football world
Daniel, England

I asked my 11-year-old son "What do you think about Roy Keane getting sent off?" His reply was: "That's not a sending off offence, even Alex Ferguson said it wasn't".

Comments like these are encouraging youngsters to think it is ok to deliberately hurt someone on the football pitch. Sir Alex, Please engage brain before putting your mouth into gear.
D Russell, England

Roy Keane has lost none of his football skills, but he is cutting an increasingly ludicrous figure in the football world. The words of Alex Ferguson after the Sunderland match made it clear that Keane would be indulged in all his actions by the club.

I wonder if Roy's bright enough to see that they're protecting him. One row with Sir Alex and he would get a very rude awakening from his macho fantasy.
Daniel, England

The Keane apologists (mercifully few of them, I see) seem to attribute blame to media attention. Naturally, Roy's done nothing to encourage this by writing an autobiography, serialised in the press. I'm sure he also gives away most of the £90,000 per week earnings that are a direct result of incessant media attention.
Steve, UK

People don't like to be told the truth. Keane told McCarthy and the FAI the truth about their shortcomings, and was crucified as a result. The truth on Saturday was that McAteer cheated by goading Keane into the retaliation, but nobody wants to address that.

Keane is largely to blame for all of the strife that has dogged his career to date
Andy, Scotland

We reward the sneaky mice and vilify those who have the courage of their convictions. Is that what the beautiful game has come to?
Dave, Ireland

Keane is largely to blame for all of the strife that has dogged his career to date. If he wants to start enjoying his football then he needs to leave England, as too many personal vendettas have built up. £20m for Vieira, Fergie?
Andy, Scotland

Well done, Roy. By waiting until the 93rd minute you ensured that your sending off would do no material damage to the club. You rightly perceived that Phil Neville was desperately lucky not to be dismissed at a time when it might have cost United, and told him so. No such mistakes for you!

The extra publicity should have added an extra 50,000 to the sales of your book, and a fresh ban is irrelevant because you were going to have to take time out for an operation anyway. The perfect crime! And one that helps to ensure that Man Utd are in the history books for all the right reasons.
Nick S, England

Let's put this into context. He was sent off in a match - big deal. If it was any other Premiership player (except Becks, Owen and the other enfant Terrible, Vieira) it would go unnoticed. Yes, he deserved to be sent off, and yes, he needs to behave better (as does any other player who gets sent off), but all this rubbish about tearing up his contract is just a joke.

Whilst always competitive, Keane is not a liability or a thug by any stretch of the imagination
Matt, England

McAteer was not totally innocent in all this as he'd been goading Roy all through the match. Let's all calm down now, and give Veron the chance to shine during Roy's Leave of Absence!
Dom Mellonie, Spain (ex-pat Manc)

I believe that the punishments metered out to footballers should be accumulative over a period of three seasons, so that persistent offenders would spend longer out of the game each time they offend.

Can you see any club paying a player £90,000-a-week when he has ruled himself out for a whole season? There has been a disappointing lack of leadership from the FA on this whole issue.
Kim Beasley, UK

What an overreaction! Keane has controlled himself more in recent seasons, and whilst always competitive he is not a liability or a thug by any stretch of the imagination.

He is the best midfielder in the world, and any coach would dream of having in their team. I also notice that Vieira was sent off 24 hours later, and his record is actually worse than Keane's in terms of average red cards per season. It's important not to confuse this red card with the book - they are separate incidents.
Matt, England

Roy Keane is becoming an embarrassment to Man Utd, and to English football as a whole
Steve, Scotland

Obviously the pressure of modern day football - especially at Manchester United - has got to Roy. He's lost it and should be punished heavily for his disgraceful behaviour. I don't consider him a professional sportsman anymore - just a jumped up thug.
Shane Glass, England

Roy Keane is becoming an embarrassment to Man Utd, and to English football as a whole. How can he attack Phil Neville for scything down an opponent and then go on to attack McAteer? There's no doubting his ability as a footballer, but his behaviour cannot be justified.

Keane stupidly reacted to McAteer's goading, and this will merely encourage other players to trick him into letting loose again. Man Utd have a testing season ahead of them, and need a steady and consistent influence in midfield. I suspect that Keane will spend most of the time sitting on the sidelines.
Steve, Scotland

Roy Keane is a great player, but as a Man Utd supporter I'm ashamed when our captain goes around elbowing people. He is a winner and has great determination, but that is not an excuse for what he did.
Mohammed Suliman, UK

I am a Man Utd fan and a huge fan of Keane, but it has to be said that he is becoming an embarrassment and liability to the team. The Haaland and McCarthy episodes have shown Roy in a very bad light, and now this at Sunderland.

Man Utd should terminate Keane's contract immediately
E, England

I think he should have his operation, take whatever suspension the FA throws at him and have a good think about how he wants to play out the rest of his career. It was claimed he was near quitting after his sending off against Shearer last year, and I am concerned this may be the route he takes this time.
Paul, UK

It is appalling that Roy Keane continues to a part of football. What sort of example does someone like this set to our children? He is the captain of the most popular team in the world and is supported by his manager in everything he does.

Football needs to stamp this type of behaviour out. Some people say that Saturday's incident should not have resulted in a red card, but an elbow to someone's ear could do some serious damage.

Man Utd should terminate his contract immediately. I have no doubt that if it was any other player at any other club, he would have been more harshly dealt with.
E, England

United have been here before - remember Cantona and Crystal Palace? Cantona changed, so perhaps Keane can, but I wouldn't hold my breath. Whatever Keane's talent, elbowing a player off the ball cannot be justified.
Graham Brack, England

Any other business would have sacked him
Lloyd, UK

Roy Keane is Utd's greatest player, and I believe the world's most influential playmaker. His weakness is his temper, so what? He was a victim yesterday, that was not a sending-off offence, all this fuss over nothing. There is far too much hype about this, leave the poor man alone, let him get on with his job...
Jim Russell, Norway

Roy Keane is a liability and a total disgrace. No matter who you are, who you play for or what great talent you possess, there is no excuse for violent behaviour. Roy Keane's lack of discipline and lack of respect for other players, management and the fans needs sorting out. A very long suspension is probably the only answer as financial penalties are just a waste of time with these guys being paid such extreme amounts.
Jim, Malaysia

The most significant incident in the game was Keane's attatck on Neville. Watch it again folks, the rot has set in.
Joe, Ireland

He is gruesome. He seemingly holds no respect for anyone other than himself and his dog. By keeping him on, all Man Utd see is dollar signs in front of their eyes - any other business would have sacked him.
Lloyd, UK

Another red card for Roy Keane - big deal. He's the biggest player at the biggest club in the world - he should be allowed to do anything. Alex Ferguson is right to back him 100%.
Martin Ohr, UK

Football is a man's game
Rishmal Chavda, England
It's just as much Alex Ferguson's fault because he has done nothing to try and make him behave and just supports him in everything he does unconditionally. Why should he stop if he has his manager's approval?
Adam, England

I fully back Roy Keane, whether on or off the field. What he says in his book is up to him, he is only speaking his mind and credit has to be given to him for this (unlike Quinn who thinks he knows it all and is constantly licking McCarthy's rear end).

Secondly, Keane does have somewhat of a temper, but this is how Roy is and we have to accept this. Arguably, if you take Keane's temper away from him, he will not be the same player on the pitch.

Football is a man's game, and quite frankly there is always going to be play which some will describe as violent, but in Keane's case, it's competitive!
Rishmal Chavda, England

Roy Keane strikes me as a childish man and what children want most is attention. On the Premiership show last night the entire period of analysis for the Man Utd v Sunderland game was dedicated to Roy Keane, the football was not mentioned once.

No doubt the back pages of all the papers will be given over to him as well. The Media and public should ignore him and then hopefully he will go away and we can get back to the football.
Richard, England

All this arm-chair criticism from the UK media has turned Keane into a human pressure cooker. I think it's time the people laid off him and he was allowed to play football. You try to live your life under media and public scrutiny and see if you don't start to lose the plot.
Dave, Northern Ireland

Roy Keane should get a life sentence
Masin, England

While RK is obviously his own man and will not bow to anyone, I lay the blame for some of his antics at the door of the manager. Ferguson is graceless in defeat and gloating in victory. True - Utd have earned the acclaim for being the best in the '90s and are the prime reason why some of the other clubs have raised their game.

But the more he publicly condones the book, RK's on the pitch behaviour and allows him to be his mouthpiece when having a go at other players, the longer the problems will continue.
Christian, UK

Roy Keane should get a life sentence.
Masin, England

It's a mans game and if these guys are prepared to dish it out they should also be prepared to take the consequences. Sure it was silly for Keano to lose it so late in the game but people can't hear what's being said between players and I think that Mcateer made the most of the situation.

Obviously Keane has his problems and is without doubt a great competitor, but its' getting to the same ludicrous situation as it was with David Beckham a couple of seasons ago when every time he touched the ball he was jeered and booed.
Kerry Byrne, Canada

Keane should be banned from the game for a year to teach him a lesson. He is an idiot and is beyond help. I Just hope that the FA actually do something about it.
Jason, UK

He needs to be banned from the game forever before he can ruin the game's already broken image any further.
Oliver Davis, United Kingdom

Whatever the rights or wrongs of this case, Keane has let United down when they needed him. He will now be suspended while Scholes and Butt are injured - VERY clever Roy!
Ken, England

Lock him up. He is a thug. If he was not a footballer he would be serving time.
Pob, UK

If any player deliberately attacks another player he should be banned from football for life
Richard, UK

Roy has just grown too big for his boots. He thinks he is the God of football, an untouchabe element. It's time that the FA got tough with him. Enough of Roy and his madness.
Israel, Ireland

How can you even defend someone as barbaric as Roy Keane? He may be the county's best midfielder but that does not give him the right to intentionally injure other players or behave in such a manner.

He should get a season's ban and a jail sentence for his "attack" on Alfe Inge Haaland. I am an Everton supporter and if a player in my team behaved in this manner then I would not hesitate to campaign to have him removed.
Ben Rathe, England

I saw the McAteer incident on TV just now and I have to say that I'm totally stunned by how Keane acts on the field. Please give him a long and expensive PENALTY!
Stefan Larsson, Sweden

He's got another red card. Big deal. It was plain to see at the time he tackled Haaland that he intended to hurt him. He has admitted this in his book. The answer is simple: if any player deliberately attacks another player he should be banned from football for life, not just by the FA but by Fifa as well. Deliberate violence is not what sport is about.
Richard, UK

Roy Keane is a disgrace to the sport.
Sandeep Shukla, England

I'm a United fan, but Roy Keane is now letting the team, the fans and himself down. However big a talent he is - or thinks he is - bringing his personal vendettas onto the pitch with such alarming regularity is no good to anyone.

Man Utd and Alex Ferguson are doing themselves no favours by continuing to support the thug they call their captain
Graham, USA

Whilst he complains bitterly and frequently about United's performances, I believe he is now becomimg a disruptive influence. His constant face pulling and moaning at team-mates is now irritating, and perhaps he should look at some of his recent performances before criticising others.

Remember, we have an England World Cup player who may not be as "great" as Keane but rarely lets the team down - Nicky Butt. Perhaps now is the time for Roy to realise his life-long ambition and go north of the border to finish his career with Celtic - if they still want him.
Mike Hinden, UK

Man Utd and Alex Ferguson are doing themselves no favours by continuing to support the thug they call their captain. Keane is a disgrace to his club, his country and his fellow professionals.

What kind of example does it set to the youngsters learning the game today when they see a player of his so-called "stature", and captain of one of the most powerful clubs in the world, behaving like a neanderthal.

How many more times will the FA allow him to bring the game into disrepute before they ban him for life?
Graham, USA

Keane does not realise that he and he alone is responsible for his actions. He cannot blame Mick McCarthy, the FAI, Haaland, McAteer or anyone else. It seems as though everybody is at fault but himself.

Keane is a great footballer, but the events of the summer seem to suggest that he is lacking intelligence. In short, I think Keane is dim-witted, stupid, thick.
Kevin, Ireland

The answer is simple. Ban him from playing football with ANY club for the remainder of this season AND without pay!
Dan Dobson, England

Why doesn't everyone just lay off Roy Keane?
Channi, England

Roy Keane should be penalized 10 games, minimum, and his salary forfeited to the League. This will make Alex Ferguson take action against his captain. There is no room in football for this type of action, PERIOD.
Ray Richards, Canada

Send Keane to Boot Camp, that's the answer! He needs a lot of discipline.
George Nipah, England

Jin, Hong Kong

Let's see him trying to bully players on a rugby pitch, and see how he enjoys it when they retaliate. Roy Keane is a disgrace, and Man Utd's name is being dragged down with him as long as they stand up for his behaviour.

Keane should only be given a one match ban due to his violent conduct in the Sunderland match. I am a bit sympathetic with him as I could understand the frustration of controlling most of the match and then coming out with one point!
Samer Ghozlan, England

Why doesn't everyone just lay off Roy Keane? He's the best defensive midfielder the world has seen! The red card he got today was never a red card! Players try to get him sent off because they are scared!

They know he holds the key to Manchester United's success and they are scared of him as a person. They don't want to challenge him or get challenged by him...a true captain...our INSPIRATION!
Channi, England

Those who say he should be banned or sold are not in the real world.
Andy, India

Without the likes of him what would the fans have to get excited about?
Mary, England

You can't tame someone like Keane. The guy is a psychopath who takes deep joy in maming players then bragging about it later. United supporters must be so proud! The FA are so spineless in situations like this and will just sweep it under the carpet as they always do with anything to do with United, their beloved ambassadors of the sport.
Graham Kett, England

If more of the United players had the same passion that Keane has for the game then they might not have lost the League last year. His determination to win at all costs is what makes the Premiership a joy to watch.

Players like Keane who give their all for the whole ninety minutes make it exciting. I know he needs to work on his temper and PR but without the likes of him what would the fans have to get excited about?
Mary, England

If I, a teacher, on a small salary, was to behave like RK then I would certainly not have a job now. Why is it that someone like RK, who has a huge influence on young people, can be allowed to represent his club and country, behave like he does, and still have a job? It stinks.
Mike Johnson, UK

So first on Roy Keane's list was Jason McAteer? Jason didn't by any chance publicly back Mick McCarthy after Roy Keane's World Cup Fiasco? If I was a Republic of Ireland player, I think I would be worried about being on Keano's list - he obviously bears grudges and feels he can get away with it on the football pitch (and he has so far, he just collects red cards instead of jail sentences).

It is about time the FA took action before someone gets even more seriously hurt than Haaland.
Philip Poulter, UK

Roy Keane is rapidly disintegrating into the Mike Tyson of Premiership football
Andrea Mazzagazze, Italy

Even as a Man Utd fan I find Keane now an embarrassment. He is an overpaid, deluded thug who should be kicked out of the game for a long time. He is captain of the most famous club in the world and is a disgrace to the shirt.

I know I am not the only Utd fan who has had enough. Good riddance to bad rubbish.
Mark Walsh, UK

Roy Keane is rapidly disintegrating into the Mike Tyson of Premiership football - he's like Cantona but with none of the charm. Tame him? I don't think you can.

I say a ban 'til the New Year and let the courts decide on the Haaland incident and the Crown Prosecution Service examine a charge of GBH.
Andrea Mazzagazze, Italy

Keane should be banned from the game and prosecuted for his deliberate attempts at injuring other players. He is no footballer, he is a disgrace.

It's a shame that there are some like Brent of England and Neil of Mexico still giving support to Roy just because he is has talent. This doesn't give him the right to attack anyone.

As a professional footballer, he can be rough and tackle hard, but to take 'revenge' is definitely a disgrace. It is obviously that it was a very stupid act to hit McAteer's head with his elbow while the ball was not even with him. It is worse that Roy did it right before the eyes of the referee.

He should be experienced enough to handle such cases despite the fact that McAteer had the intention to provoke him.
Kenneth, Singapore

Sack the idiot as soon as possible. If you cannot contain yourself even when paid obscene amounts of money then you have no place in humanity let alone the game.
Lee Braddon, UK

It is not about taming Roy is about getting rid of Roy Keane once and for all
Geoff May, USA

Roy Keane is a disgrace to soccer. As a Man Utd fan, I fail to understand why Sir Alex Ferguson shows so much loyalty to this unprofessional thug. Let Roy Keane go.
Charles, New York, USA

It is not about taming Roy is about getting rid of Roy Keane once and for all. It is bad enough that he abandoned his country, wrote a tasteless book, deliberately injured an opponent and, chronically demonstrated no remorse.

It is bad enough that Alex Ferguson has resolutely defended this thug going so far as to label him the beat ever to wear the United kit. As a United fan, I see no more fitting end than to toss Keane out on his ear even if it means absorbing his salary and getting nothing back in return!
Geoff May, USA

Talent is no excuse for behaving like a caveman. I believe a season ban would be the only recourse open to the FA in light of today's red card. Out patience has run thin with Roy. Enough us enough!
Justin Webb, England

What is Roy Keane thinking? Man Utd have enough problems already without losing him for three games! The match was ending and he decided to retaliate to the pathetic behaviour of Jason McAteer, and several other Sunderland players.
Rachel, Wales

Roy Keane needs some serious therapy for his temper, and whilst out of the game receiving treatment he should get on with what he does best - a job at WH Smith selling books!
Ray Burge, England

Roy Keane should be banned from football
Conor Ryan, USA

Keane is really doing his best to make more and more enemies. Perhaps it's all going to catch up with him sooner than later. The Irish fans have stuck by him so far but loyalty only runs so deep. I'm with McAteer on this one!
Will, Ireland

Say what you like about Keane he is still the best midfielder in the country and will never be tamed. If he was then he'd be about as useful as the idiots that goad him, for example, Jason McAteer.
Brent Di Cesare, England

Roy Keane is no fool. He didn't deserve his red card, especially if you saw the whole game live and saw his contribution. He is committed to his team and his fellow team members. It's a shame to see other players try to get him booked and sent off.
Neil Hart, Mexico

Roy Keane should be banned from football. He has brought the game into disrepute far too many times.

His disgraceful treatment of Mick McCarthy and the Irish squad before the World Cup was the most classless episode I've seen.

Now he stands by the statements on his book showing that he has deliberately injured other players. And then today he shows us once again what an abomination he is as he gets sent off for violent conduct towards Jason McAteer. How many players does he need to attack before football bans him for life?
Conor Ryan, USA

Send us your comments:

Your E-mail Address:



Disclaimer: The BBC will put up as many of your comments as possible but we cannot guarantee that all e-mails will be published. The BBC reserves the right to edit comments that are published.
Click here for all the latest from the My Club section

News and Statistics

Match coverage

Daily club news
See also:

31 Aug 02 | Man Utd
31 Aug 02 | Man Utd
Links to more Sports Talk stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Sports Talk stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

Sport Front Page | Football | Cricket | Rugby Union | Rugby League |
Tennis | Golf | Motorsport | Boxing | Athletics | Other Sports |
Special Events | Sports Talk | BBC Pundits | TV & Radio | Question of Sport |
Photo Galleries | Funny Old Game | N Ireland | Scotland | Wales