Roy Keane recalls famous fall-out with Mick McCarthy at 2002 World Cup

‘I’d had enough, I went “f***ing no!”‘: Roy Keane recalls famous bust-up with Mick McCarthy at 2002 World Cup after the pair previously got into a row at USA 1994 after the ex-Manchester United player showed up late after drinking

  • Roy Keane had a falling out with Mick McCarthy at two separate World Cups
  • The midfielder showed up late to the team bus after a night of drinking in 1994
  • McCarthy shouted at Keane which started the pair’s tense relationship 
  • Keane was then sent home after a falling out before the 2002 World Cup
  • The then Ireland captain was unhappy with the team’s facilities and equipment
  • Keane though said he was more angry about an accusation McCarthy made  

Roy Keane has recalled his tense relationship with former Republic of Ireland teammate and manager Mick McCarthy.

The ex-Manchester United midfielder was famously sent home from the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea after a bust up with McCarthy.

It came eight years after a row when McCarthy who was still in his playing career shouted at Keane for arriving to the team bus late after drinking with teammates the night before during the 1994 World Cup in the United States.

Roy Keane had busts up with Mick McCarthy before the 1994 and 2002 World Cups

Keane spoke to former United teammate Gary Neville about their relationship on the latter’s Overlap Youtube channel.

Regarding the incident at USA 1994 he said: ‘Me and Mick we had a falling out in America again we said a few things to each other.

‘Listen, I was out of order I was out drinking but I was drinking with loads of other lads.  We’d been drinking and I was late for the bus. 

‘Jack Charlton was having a go at me, Jack’s the manager but I didn’t want a player having a go at me who’s never spoke to me.

‘If Packie Bonner or David O’Leary who probably helped me were saying it I would say ‘I would take that’ but not from somebody who never spoke a word to me and he was shouting at me in front of everybody. So that would have been the start of it.’

Keane was sent home from Ireland following his bust up with McCarthy in Saipan in 2002

Eight years later Keane was sent home from their training base on the Pacific Island of Saipan.

The Manchester United legend was unhappy with the preparations of the team ahead of their huge opportunity to shine on the global stage, and challenged his boss in front of the entire team and staff over the facilities and training gear not arriving on time.

However, Keane said that this wasn’t the row that led to him being sent home and they had another bust-up a week later when he claimed McCarthy accused him of missing Ireland’s second leg playoff match with Iran to reach the World Cup. 

He said:  ‘And then for a manager again, team meeting, with senior players around you going ‘you could have played in this (match). 

‘We qualified for the World Cup in 2002, do you not remember the group we had? Holland, Portugal with ten matches. Won seven, drew three we had the same points as Portugal but we had to go to the playoffs.

‘If I remember I played in all of the games. I played the first playoff match then missed the second one as I had an injury. So in 12 qualifying games I played 11 and missed one.

‘And strangely enough, these are the facts, for a manager to bring up to a senior player, yes, I was captain but still the same, that I could have played in that match it’s bizarre to accuse me of missing a match.

‘People talk about the equipment and gear but we moved on from that, that was the week earlier.’

Keane though did hit out at Ireland’s preparations for the World Cup saying that was the moment he ‘had enough’ and it was the time Ireland needed to ‘stop laughing’.

He said: ‘Imagine if that was England or France or Brazil but for some reason it’s Ireland it’s like ‘it’s funny, it’s Ireland’ I couldn’t get my head around it but I did after a few days. 

‘I was like ‘I have to move on’ I was fuming and I let a few people know I wasn’t happy including the manager but moved on because next we were flying to the official training ground which was with FIFA which I was thinking ‘FIFA’s going to be fine’.

Keane was angry with Ireland’s facilities and lack of football gear before the 2002 World Cup

The tension escalated when McCarthy is said to have accused Keane of missing a match

He added: ”But imagine you go to a training session and I remember we didn’t qualify a week before so it was ‘yeah a little bit tight to get the gear over’, we qualified six months earlier.

‘And you laugh at it Gary, I laughed, I had been laughing for years with Ireland ‘yeah this is what we do we’re Irish, we win or lose’ but I just had enough I went ‘f***ing no’.

‘We qualified out of an unbelievably tough group, Holland never qualified from our group and people were going ‘there’s no gear at all’. Well there must be footballs, ‘no footballs, no bibs nothing’ it was like if you’re sitting in a training pitch and you go ‘is this for real’. 

‘And all the others lads were laughing I was looking at all of the lads and thinking ‘that’s why you are winning f*** all some of you at your clubs. So there was a bit of that going on and I was like the laughing has got to stop now. 

‘We had Irish fans selling their television to go follow Ireland. They still want to see Ireland winning. I don’t care what anyone sees. 

‘I had that when I was a player and when I was with Martin and they replaced us because we didn’t win enough matches at the end which was a disgrace when they replaced Martin with Mick McCarthy and Stephen Kenny which is another story.’

The Overlap is a new YouTube channel from Gary Neville in partnership with Sky Bet.

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