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Tuesday, 28 May, 2002, 20:17 GMT 21:17 UK
Keane's World Cup statement
Roy Keane
Keane urged Irish fans to get behind the team
Roy Keane has issued the following statement to Irish television station RTE confirming he will play no part in the Republic of Ireland's World Cup campaign:

"In the interests of all genuine supporters of Irish football I believe that the time has now arrived when I should bring to a conclusion the continuing speculation with regard to my participation in the World Cup and for the players to concentrate fully on their preparations for the competition free from all further distraction.

"Whilst I appreciate all the support which I have received and all the efforts which have been made by a number of people on behalf of all the parties involved in this unfortunate matter, I do not consider that the best interests of Irish football will be served by my returning to the World Cup.

"The damage has been done. I wish the team and the management all the best and they will have my full support throughout the competition.

"I urge all the people of Ireland to give their entire support to the team. I do not feel that any useful purpose will be served by my making any further comment.

Signed,

Roy Keane.


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GROUP E
  P GD PTS
GERMANY 3 +10 7
IRELAND 3 +3 5
CAMEROON 3 -1 4
SAUDI ARABIA 3 -12 0

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