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Monday, 27 May, 2002, 18:23 GMT 19:23 UK
Keane's interview
Roy Keane
Keane felt his team-mates let him down
Read more of Roy Keane's interview with Irish television station RTE.


Journalist Tommie Gorman: Everyone would love to see you back and would love to see the best representation of Ireland possible. Ireland without you is not the country we want to support.

RK: I spoke to my family. They were supposed to fly out but they are not now because they back me. I told them what happened. I might be a lot of things but I'm not a liar. I had to arrange my own flights back. No-one was in the room when I walked out and people had the opportunity to speak but they wouldn't.

It was a heated exchange, I know that. Some of the senior players knew the score but they let it all happen. When I walked out of the door that was the end of it. The ball's not in my court any more.

I didn't want to go through the media. I didn't want to be doing this interview but there was an imbalance about the story. The people of Ireland deserve to know the truth.

People say I probably shouldn't have reacted the way I did, but hindsight is a great thing. I'm human, I was forced into a corner and there was only one way I was going to come out - fighting. There was only going to be one winner and that was Mick of course. I understand that, he's the manager.

TG: We're all losers in this

RK: I think the team will do well - they've got some good players.

TG: In 15 years time, are you going to look back and ask yourself what it was all about?

RK: No, I could have played. There's no doubt in my mind. My family got to see me, it was good to be home and I'll probably go back to Cork next week. My conscience is clear. If there was any doubt in my mind that I had been a little bit out of order, I'd be back like a shot, but I won't accept it. I can't accept it.

TG: Is there a bit of you that says "forget about pride?"

RK: I've been doing that for years.

TG: Is there a chance of you doing it again?

RK: The ball's not on my side of the court now.

TG: If Mick was prepared to bury the hatchet with you and the players wanted you back, what would you do?

RK: I really don't know because I can't see that happening. We'd have to see. I'd love to be back. I feel I've earned respect, that's why I'm captain. But people weren't in that room. I need to stand up for what I believe in.

TG: There is talk that some of the players want you back.

RK: They had their chance to speak. I think deep down they're worried about their own reputations. Steve Staunton, Gary Kelly, Niall Quinn went to the press conference, they're experienced players and they had their chance. They're all retiring after the World Cup.

TG: Surely you can find a way of showing an example?

RK: Maybe, but it's not in my hands and I'm standing firm for what I believe in. I try to live my life as honestly as I can. What happened to me last week was wrong. I wouldn't wish it on anybody. I felt I deserved better. People have made me out to be a loner, a monster, and it's nonsense. The ball's in other people's courts.


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RTE News - Roy Keane
"I want to play for Ireland"
BBC's Dennis Murray
"I think the door's open a chink"
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GROUP E
  P GD PTS
GERMANY 3 +10 7
IRELAND 3 +3 5
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SAUDI ARABIA 3 -12 0

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