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25th Jun 2018

Mick McCarthy Speaks Out After Roy Keane’s ‘New’ Saipan Comments

Darragh Berry

It divided a whole nation at the time and the two people who were at the centre of the battle have spoken out recently about Saipan.

Keane released ‘new’ comments about the feud in an ITV World Cup podcast and said that he has absolutely “no regrets”.

There was a lot of talk when we got over there about the facilities, no bibs, no balls, no cones. That really irritated me because if that happened to Germany, England or Brazil, there would heave been uproar. For some reason because it’s Ireland, it’s a laugh and joke.”

“I had enough years of that type of behaviour and I wanted to give us the best chance of winning. Into the week, just before we’re leaving Saipan, we had a bit of a team meeting and I was confronted by the manager and I’d do it again tomorrow. I’ve always said that I’ve never lost a wink of sleep about how I reacted to the accusations that were made against me but I’d have loved to play in a World Cup. Of course I would. That’s what the game is all about. It wasn’t to be but I don’t look back and regret my actions.”

“What really made me angry is when you get accused of something by your manager – in front of a group of players – well then, you’re going to react…and I reacted. As a senior player and the captain, I just felt that these were lies.”

“I was accused of faking an injury and not being available for a match – when I was actually injured. What Mick was saying wasn’t true so if you make them accusations against me, guess what’s going to happen?! You’re going to get fireworks.”

“To be accused of missing matches in front of a group of players, actually, believe me, I actually left people off lightly! There could have been a lot more trouble.”

In a response to the ‘new’ comments, McCarthy’s agent Liam Gaskin told The Irish Sun: “I cannot believe that 16 years later, he still hasn’t managed to let this go.

“Especially after he apologised to Mick before the Sunderland and Wolves game (in 2006).”

“This was a long, long time ago, most people have forgotten about it and moved on. Mick doesn’t want this to explode all over again.”

“Keane was a massive presence and some of the younger players, Damien [Duff] included, were terrified of him, even the way he used to demand the ball.

“There was a big cloud lifted for some of the young lads when he did go.”

Surely a film needs to be made?

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