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Roy Keane v. Mick McCarthy

May 2002, South Korea / Japan —

Roy snubs the Queen

The Irish manager, or coach, sent Roy Keane home on the verge of the World Cup. Ireland's chances are naturally diminished by the loss of the captain of their team.

To say that Roy Keane is unpopular in The Republic — well, let's just leave it at that.

Keane argued with Manager Mick McCarthy. Apparently Keane had some disputes about the conditions of the practice field there in Korea — or was it Japan? (my knowledge of the matter is really about as broad as my interest in football, or sports in general — damn limited.)

Actually, it seems "argued" would be a weak term for the interaction. Keane reportedly called McCarthy a "f**king wanker" and an "English c*nt." This last insult might just be the strongest racial slur in the Irish idiom — and many players on the Irish team are English-born.

McCarthy sent him home. The Taoiseach (prime minister) Bertie Ahern attempted to mediate. McCarthy said that if Keane returns to the team, he himself will quit.

— 26 May 2002