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

Tuesday, 15 October, 2002, 09:15 GMT 10:15 UK
Keane let off lightly?
Roy Keane was given a 150,000 fine and a five-match ban
Manchester United's Roy Keane has been given a five-match ban and a 150,000 fine at an FA hearing.

Does the punishment fit the crime?

Keane admitted in his autobiography that he meant to hurt Manchester City 's Alf-Inge Haaland in a tackle 18 months ago.

The first charge centred on the tackle, while the second charge related to the controversial Irishman publishing his account to gain financial reward.

Keane's ban will start in two weeks' time, but he does have the right of appeal.

Has Keane got what he deserved?

This debate is now closed. A selection of your e-mails appear below.

Lucky boy, Roy. Forget the fines. When players get such ridiculous salaries, Keane's fine was hardly relevant. The FA once again missed the opportunity to set the right example.

The fine should be the equivalent of his salary for the duration of the ban
Mike, UK

Keane should have received a much longer suspension. Only then would all concerned come to realise how totally unacceptable his behaviour is. You're a very lucky boy, Roy.
Jim, Malaysia

Of course, the only reason this type of confession gets into an autobiography is for publicity, and he couldn't have bought publicity like this.

However, as he's been good enough to confess to a premeditated violent crime, let's at least put him to trial in a criminal court. Failing that, the fine should be the equivalent of his salary for the duration of the ban.
Mike, UK

Roy Keane got a three-match ban for the tackle on Haaland. He got the punishment and it should have been left at that. No one would kick up such a fuss if it was Michael Owen or anyone who doesn't play for Man Utd.

Alan Shearer kicked Neil Lennon in the head, a possible life threatening incident, and he never got a three-match ban or even a fine. Just because he is not liked as a person; he should not be banned or fined at all.
Ste Crayston, England

So, Duncan Ferguson gets a jail term for punching someone, Keane gets a small (by his standards) fine for deliberately attempting to maim a fellow professional. A six-month ban would have hit him harder and been more fair. Time to stamp down on this sort of thing.
Andy, Bournemouth, England

Keane should have been banned for at least a season
David O'Connor, England

In effect, Roy Keane has received a nine-match ban, and record fine for this offence. In what sense is this a let-off? It seems to me that Keane has been punished for the ultimate football crime; admitting that he is guilty of something that has gone on for years!

Can anyone say that this has not been common practice for years. From Tommy Smith, and Nobby Stiles, through Norman Hunter, and Graeme Souness, to Lee Bowyer, and Patrick Vieira today.

Keane was punished for the tackle at the time, so this punishment is now for his honesty (stupidity) in putting the admission in print.

Finally, let's not feel too sorry for Haaland. He played in the next game for City, and has stated quite clearly on his website that the injury he is struggling with was NOT caused by Keane's tackle!
Andy, UK

I think Keane should have been banned for at least a season. When Cantona lashed out, after racial taunts, at a supporter he received a much harsher ban. What Keane did was far worse as it end Haaland's career.

He has admitted he did it deliberately in revenge for his injury, which was caused when he tried to foul Haaland in a previous game. As a Man Utd supporter I would be ashamed to see him back in the squad.
David O'Connor, England

I'd like to see him given that last chance to redeem himself sooner rather than later
Jim, UK

What about the time Alan Shearer kicked Lennon in the face and got away with it because England needed him for a competition, and he wasn't even booked. Keane has already been punished for the tackle, and what about Haalands' comments on his website the week before the game?
Laurence Majury, Northern Ireland

Roy Keane deserves to be punished, but he's already been punished. As a Manchester United fan who believes that Keane has behaved like a prat for the last six months, I'd like to see him given that last chance to redeem himself sooner rather than later.
Jim, UK

Forgive me, but I can't help but wonder if David Beckham would have received similar treatment. I doubt it. He is England captain, after all. It's OK to stamp Slovak players, flail an elbow now and then.

We won't see the replays, and the FA will do, well, sweet F.A. As it was OK for his predecessor Alan Shearer to kick a player in the head. For years all those BBC pundits have praised Roy through gritted teeth.

Now that he's being made an example of, weekly, they can scarcely hide their delight. And I notice McCarthy has become a pundit himself, on Football Focus. There was me thinking you had to know something about football!
Conor, Ireland

A professional football player should not act in the way that Keane did, under any circumstances
Ben Dulson, Manchester

150,000 fine for a guy who earns 100,00 a week is pathetic. Not just because it's Keane, although he's an arrogant whinger, but footballers need to be fined a higher percentage of their wages so that the figure actually hurts them. One-and-a-half weeks' wages is nothing.
Neil, England

Being a Man City fan, I doubt that anyone reading this will judge my comment fairly, but I too have an opinion regarding one of our favourite neighbours. Mr Keane does indeed deserve to be punished for his actions. A professional football player should not act in the way that Keane did, under any circumstances.

Too much has been made of Haaland's account of the situation, like it actually matters. Whether or not Haaland 'faked' the injury or not is really irrelevant, the facts of the matter are that Keane has admitted that he intentionally meant to injury Haaland, which was plain to see from his face during and after the tackle.

The next fact, Keane published this in his own book!! What is British football coming to when a player in the top flight can try to seriously damage a colleague, then brag about it to sell books, and then complain when he is about to get punished for it!

I am sure some Man United fans out there will say that he has suffered enough for his actions already but he only received a tiny ban for an offence that should deserve far more.

Danny Tiatto could be heading down the same road as Keane if he's not careful
Ben Dulson, Manchester

I have heard United fans complaining that, as usual, "it's just because he plays for United and everyone else is jealous". Well, no, that actually isn't the case, a player like Roy Keane (as fantastic a footballer as he is) who goes around, throwing his weight, or rather aggressiveness about should be punished, as he is a time bomb waiting to go off.

Sorry if I have upset my Red Neighbours, but that's my honest opinion. And if it makes you feel any better, I think that Danny Tiatto could be heading down the same road as Keane if he's not careful. And, yes, United still are better than us 'bitter blues', but the futures bright!
Ben Dulson, Manchester, UK

Keane should consider himself lucky. He is a thug who clearly considers he is above the law. His pathetic attempts to say he was not responsible for the content of his autobiography prompt thoughts that he could also be sued for fraud as the whole premise of an AUTO biography is that it contains the words and thoughts of it's subject.

Perhaps those Man U apologists who will be the ones further feathering Keane's pocket should think about that. Of course other players have exacted revenge on the pitch but boasting about it in a book is not 'honest', it's cynical and stupid and the whole episode shows Keane and Man U in a very poor light.
Martin, UK

If there had been TV footage of Woodgate or Bowyer lashing out like that during their trial they would now be residing at Her Majesty's pleasure, so Keane is a very lucky, but incredibly stupid and violent man.

His stupidity will be proven when he has the audacity to appeal. I hope the FA slap a fine on him after the appeal that he might acually notice. 150K probably less than 21 days wages, ooohhh that must hurt.
Gareth, Stockholm, Sweden

I suppose no other footballer has ever gone out to exact revenge on anybody?
Conor, Ireland

I think Keane got off lightly. That kind of behaviour should not be tolerated. The eight-match ban initially proposed would have been much more appropriate, although I feel a longer one (six months for example) would have set a better example.
Nick, London

The verdict was fair. He was just being honest. I suppose no other footballer has ever gone out to exact revenge on anybody? People should get their facts straight: Haaland has been out with an injury to his other knee and NOT the one Keane injured. If Beckham did something like this, would people be saying the same thing?
Conor, Ireland

Not even enough to redden his wrist!
Gordon, Canada

Tackles far worse than Keane's have happened every week of this season and not a thing has been done. If this was so bad, why didn't the FA act two years ago when this originally happened?

Keane served his ban for his sending off. Do we punish people twice for the same offence? Are they now going to look at Danny Tiatto's tackle on Phil Neville in the last derby staged at Maine Road - an horrendous tackle that even went without a booking!
Trevor, UK

I hope that Man City take him to the cleaners
Alex, UK

Ridiculously lenient. Also, what planet do Paddy Crerand and these idiots that claim "he's been punished already" come from?

It's simple. Until now, Keane has NOT been punished for deliberately intending to severly injure a fellow player. Please don't go into the legal profession. You wouldn't last a day.
Mark, England

A deliberate premeditated attack on another person in any other workplace would almost certainly carry a custodial term. Roy Keane? Once again this thug has got away with it and no doubt the ban will be reduced on appeal. It makes a mockery of the whole system and in no way discourages others from behaving in the same way.
Mevs, USA

I hope that Man City take him to the cleaners.
Alex, UK

I'm very surprised by the backing from Ferguson. Maybe he has gone mad too?
Paul, Norway

He's a very physical player and that's his style. There have been many footballers in the past who have done exactly the same thing and got away with it. To judge Roy Keane on his reputation is not the solution. Leave him alone!
Ewan, England

Keane's punishment is indeed light when compared to the rugby union player Chris White, who received a 10-week ban for headbutting another player. I know it's not the same as bringing the game into disrepute, but it does show that football is not hard enough on player offences. White could have received a 20-week ban for that offence.
Steve, England

I am sickened by the leniency of the punishment, but more so by those defending him on this site
Jonty, England

It sickens me to the bottom of my stomach to hear the gurning from most of the Utd fans here. Roy Keane is an animal and not the PROFESSIONAL he is supposed to be. He gets paid the disgraceful amount of money that he receives because he is supposed to be a professional footballer, not a yobbo.

After what he did to his Irish teammates in the World Cup, and worse still to us, his countrymen, he already showed us his how low he can stoop. To now write in a book, for which he'll no doubt earn millions, that he can stoop even lower is good reason to toss him on the slag heap.
Paul, Belfast

Keane's ban and fine were nowhere near enough. 150k is spare change to him, and the ban will end just as he returns to full fitness. The man set out to deliberately injure another player, and has recieved barely more punishment than he would get for a red card.
Michael Price, England

Roy Keane has shown his cynicism and arrogance. He has nothing to fear from the powers that be. It is a sad reflection on himself and those who support him. How many fans, young and old, are further disillusioned?
Ron McBride, Northern Ireland

I am sickened by the leniency of the punishment, but more so by those defending him on this site. The reason Keane got away so lightly is because of halfwits like you who worship the ground he walks on.

It is because of people like you that Keane earns four times as much in a week as you earn in a year. Keane and his like could commit murder and simpletons like you would still wear shirts bearing his name.
Jonty, England

Roy Keane makes me ashamed to be Irish
Mike, Ireland

Give us a break, all you sanctimonious moaners. He has already been punished for the Haaland tackle and for being one of the only honest players in England you would have him removed from the game? Grow up. You are lucky to have him.
Alan, Surrey, England

Two week's wages and a five game ban must have had Roy Keane splitting his sides as he left the hearing. A correct punishment would be a suspension that lasts as long as it takes Haaland to recover from the 'assult'.
Andy Neill, England

Roy Keane makes me ashamed to be Irish. His is a total disgrace to this entire island. Nothing he does now can make up for what he has done.
Mike, Ireland

The hypocrisy of non-United fans over this issue, and that of the London-based media (who hate the idea of any centre of excellence existing north of Watford), is astonishing.

Keane's "conviction" wouldn't stand up in a fair court of law anywhere in the world, and all objective people with half a brain know so. Keane's has been a classic example of trial by media which has reached the wrong verdict and set a dangerous precedent for the game.
David Jansen, Peru

I believe Keane should be banned for life after admitting to a blatant, premeditated tackle on another player that could have easily cost his (Haaland's) career. I am not a Utd fan, but would feel this way of any sportsman irrespective of club or nationality. It is time violence and racism were kicked out of the game.
Carolyn, England

I wonder if he was captain of England would he be punished to the same extent?
Quinn, Ireland

A more just, though impractical punishment, would have been to kick Keane out of football for good - the sport would be better for it.
Mark Turner, United Kingdom

You have to say five matches is a disgrace. Alfie might never play top level competitive football again. I just cant believe how much Teflon Man Utd is covered in...
David Farmery, England

To have any effect the ban should begin only when he is fit. This could be done by activating the ban only once he has played a competitive match for the United first team. Otherwise he is just laughing at everyone.

Roy Keane has got away with a slap on the wrist. Eric Cantona was banned for the season for kicking an abusive fan in retaliation. Roy Keane deliberately tried to end another player's career! For that he gets fined less than two weeks wages and a measly five match ban. How did they come to this decision?!?
Matthew, UK

Trust the English stuffed shirts to come up with this. I wonder if he was captain of England would he be punished to the same extent? The man pulled no punches in his book, it was an honest account in what is now a dishonest game.
Quinn, Ireland

He should have been banned for life from all football activities
Terry, England

There can be no fit punishment for a player who deliberately intends to mame another player. No amount of money, no amount of banned games can compensate. Keane, if he had any respect at all for the game, should resign as a player, then maybe we could give him some credit as being a decent human being.
D Beaumont, New Zealand

150,000? That's it? To a player who earns that in a week and a bit, that's nothing. What's to stop him doing it again?
Nick, Scotland

The punishment is far too lenient. If football is serious about restoring its credibility and restoring some sort of reputation for insisting on appropriate standards of behaviour on and off the pitch, then the FA should have sent clear signal through a sanction which would have been effective.

There is little point in a five week ban (Denis Law got four matches in 1963 for something far less serious) or a 150,000 fine on a millionaire several times over.
R I James, UK

He should have been banned for life from all football activities, including football management.
Terry, England

No! Treble the five match ban and treble the fine and you come somwhere near what he deserves!
Alan, England

Roy Keane had already been punished for the tackle. I think the fine would have been enough
Dave Wood, England

Roy should sit this one out and accept the sentence, pittance that it is considering the wealth of the man.
Michael, USA

It's amazing how the media leaches cling to anything that goes wrong with a Manchester United player. Roy Keane had already been punished for the tackle. I think the fine would have been enough.
Dave Wood, England

What Roy Keane did was nothing short of disgusting. He gets a five match ban and pays a couple of weeks salary as a fine. Whereas Alf-Inge Haaland will never play again. If it had been the other way around would the punishment be the same?
Alex Taylor, UK

Keane inflicted a vicious premeditated criminal assault with this foul that could have permanently disabled a fellow sportsman. The fine is irrevelant compared with his income. I believe he should be banned from football for life and a criminal prosecution bought against him.
Ben Benterman, UK

Roy is a very lucky man. 150,000 is less than two weeks wages and a five match ban is ridiculous given he probably won't be fit in time for at least two of those matches anyway.

Why not ban him for the rest of the season as happened to Eric Cantona? The FA has once again shown itself to be a paper tiger.
Paul Sweeney, Scotland

Keane is a very lucky man, what's two weeks wages to him?
Richard, UK
Keane's uncivilised actions have no place in this civilised sport.
Rahul Coutinho, USA

This man needs to sort himself out, with professional help if need be. This isn't much of a punishment and on its own will not stop him losing control again. One suspects that he will go on and do something equally rash in the future, and make money out of it.
Howard, England

I don't think the punishment is enough if he deliberately set out to hurt an opponent. I feel he should face criminal charges.
Dev, UK

Keane is a very lucky man, what's two weeks wages to him?
Richard, UK

NO! The judgement is reflective of the favouritism displayed to ALL Manchester United players by both the refs on the day and now the football administrators. He should have been banned for the rest of the season. He is an arrogant fool that neither his country needs, nor the competing football teams.
Razeen Boomgaard, South Africa

Didn't Eric Cantona get a lot longer ban than five matches for something done on the spur of the moment? Everything Keane did was premeditated!
Jim Roper, UK

The guy is a thug but then so are many other players. They seem to be above the law. I would ban them for life and prosecute them in the law courts.
Robin, England

Roy Keane should be banned for as long as Alf-Inge Haaland was out for
Nathan, UK

I felt compelled to express my suprise and dismay at the sentence that has been handed to Roy Keane. Paalo Di Canio received an 11 game ban for shoving a referee to the ground in a display of Italian histrionics.

Roy Keane deliberately goes out to hurt somebody and effectively ends their career and gets only five games. Would the penalty have been the same if it had been a Man City player fouling a Manchester Utd player? Sadly, I doubt it.
Chris Hall, USA

A drop in the ocean to a man earning what he does. This only lets him feel that he can get away with whatever he wants.
Nobby, Scotland

I think this is a disgrace. Roy Keane has committed two serious crimes - he has deliberately set out to injure Alf-Inge Haaland and then he published an account of the incident to gain financial reward.

And to get a fine which amounts to two weeks wages, which means nothing to him, and a five match ban is not enough. Alf-Inge Haaland has been out and injured for a very long time because of Roy Keane's actions. Roy Keane should be banned for as long as Alf-Inge Haaland was out for.
Nathan, UK

Once again FA punish United more harshly than others to make an example. Five matches for being honest (on top of the three for the sending off). All pros bear grudges. That's life. What happened to the human right of free speech? If it was Wenger whinging, FA would back down. Take them to the European Court of Human Rights and fight it.
Mark Collier, England

If he gets a five match ban for that, how come two players from my team got a five match ban for swearing?
Rob Towersey, England

The five match ban will hurt more than a fine of less than two week's wages but he's still got away with it. The FA drops the ball again.
Paul, England

Keane's ban and fine are ridiculous, he has already been punished for the rash challenge on Haaland. If this is the way things are going to be in football, then are we going to go back and start scrutinising every bad tackle/decision a footballer has made and every stupid thing they've said?

The FA as usual have made themselves look like idiots! If it was anyone else other than Keane we would not be discussing this.
John McDonagh, USA

If he gets a five match ban for that, how come two players from my team got a five match ban for swearing? He should be banned for the rest of the season. Disgrace!
Rob Towersey, England

I think the ban is fair but he should have been fined more as this is a player that is on over 50 grand a week. It's spare change to Keane and he should have a heavier fine.

Keane is a fantastic football player but of late he has lost the plot. Hopefully the time he has been out so far and the suspension will give a bit more time to get his head together.
Paul Valentine, Scotland

Cantona was banned eight months for something he didnt "plan". Five games is a joke, simple.
Lionel, UK

Ban him for a season, make him take anger management courses and fine him three or four months wages
Marcus, USA

Get it over with and get the best player ever in the Premiership back where he belongs.
Ricky, UK

So if the maximum ban they can give is eight matches, what exactly do you have to do to get banned for the whole eight? Kill someone on the pitch and then brag about it? The FA have bottled it here I reckon.
Tony, UK

Keane thinks he is above the law and he can do whatever he pleases. He is such an arrogant man and in my opinion he is not fit to be a sportsman and the punishment is not enough. He acts like a spoil brat when he does not get his way.
Nick Conjamalay, UK

Keane is a moronic excuse for a human being. This paltry fine amounts to less than three weeks wages for him and is way too light. It saddens me to see that some sports stars in the UK are becoming as bad role models as their NBA and NFL counterparts here in the US.

Ban him for a season, make him take anger management courses and fine him three or four months wages, with the fine going to the PFA to help footballers who have had to retire from the game through injuries. Injuries often caused by lunatics like Keane.
Marcus, USA

What a farce. This proves you can get away with anything in football providing you play for one of the country's top teams.
Paul B, UK

Keane got off very lightly
Gareth, UK

Well the FA have got it nearly right. They have found him guilty and shown some bottle in making the ban start from the point where Keane would be fit again. It's just a shame that it's only a five game ban, I think they have bottled out a bit there, especially when it comes on the day that Cantona admits that he was let off lightly by the FA following his kung fu kick.
Andrew Dixon, England

A disgraceful decision, he has already been punished for the incident at the time it occurred.
Anon, UK

I think Keane got off very lightly. 150,000 is only three weeks wages for him. I just hope he gets what he truly deserves when Man City and Haaland sue the pants off him.
Gareth, UK

This person, I can't refer to him as a sportsman, should have been banned sine die, without question. People who commit acts of such blatant aggression against fellow players have NO place on the football field.
Colin, UK

I feel that the whole epsiode has been completely blow out of proportion. Roy Keane has already been punished by the FA for his tackle on Haaland - they doled out a fine and a ban at the time, so why is he being punished again?
Yasmin, England

As a fanatic Man Utd supporter, I will be the first to admit skipper Roy Keane needs a ban and a huge fine to make him think twice before making irresponsible decisions. Despite Utd's good form, Keane's presence has been severely missed and I hope this ban will start him concentrating on football matters and continuing to lead the Man Utd side.
Akhlaq Hanif, England

Roy Keane faces a three-match suspension for his red card at Sunderland

Latest news


Photo gallery

Have your say
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