"It got back to Mick" - Roy Keane gives the final word on Saipan debacle 3 weeks ago

"It got back to Mick" - Roy Keane gives the final word on Saipan debacle

"You can stick the World Cup.'"

Roy Keane has had the last word on the World Cup Saipan debacle that caused a media frenzy back in 2002, and he explains exactly what he thinks of Mick McCarthy.


In some ways the story has been told to death, but you will go far to find a more personal and accurate description of what really happened and why, than this version from Keane.

Roy Keane's relationship with Mick McCarthy was rocky long before they became player and manager.

Speaking on the latest episode of Stick to Football, the Irishman goes right back to the beginning of his and McCarthy's working relationship, which was actually as teammates on the same Ireland squad.


"When I first got into the national squad, when I first got called up, some players would make an effort with you, and some wouldn't - Mick wouldn't have made any effort with me but I'm fine, Mick wasn't the only one.

"He was an experienced player, but didn't make an effort, just like when I was a senior player, and you wouldn't see them all the time. Basically, you only get two training sessions before a game, a lot of time you're hotel room, so there was no building a relationship back then.

"The only way you built a relationships the longer you played with lads, and I think Mick would have retired pretty quickly after I got involved anyway, so there was no report or getting on with Mick, I was just a young player."

"It got back to Mick" - Roy Keane gives the final word on Saipan debacle.


We all know the story that Keane was unhappy with the set-up, and how unprofessional everything was, but what really sparked the row that lead to his departure from the squad all began with an off-the-record interview with a journalist.

"I had been asked by a reporter if I respect Mick, and I said no I didn't."

"Oh that's a problem that," replied Neville. "Well let me finish, don't be jumping in yet, lunging in there two-footed," Keane interjected,


"I had told the reporter that this is private, but it got back to Mick. I told the reporter to 'leave that, that's not good' even if I didn't respect him. But word got back to Mick that's what I said.

"In the meeting Mick said 'and you don't respect me?' and I said 'I don't respect you.' Now this is after the accusations of me missing the game, but I just didn't respect him.

"We qualified for the World Cup with a tough group, so I would say Mick and management were looking at me, but if I don't respect you or I didn't respect Ferguson towards the end, it doesn't mean I'm not going to try.

"I was a manager at Sunderland and Ipswich, I probably upset somebody, but if they didn't respect me, well that's fine. This was all in front of a group of players, it wasn't in private, he never pulled me to the side, and he said 'if you don't respect me, how can you play for me?'

"I said 'well I'm not playing for you, I'm playing for my country.' It's very simple, but at the time I just went 'alright then I won't. You can stick the World Cup.'"


Related links: