FAI CHIEF JOHN Delaney has said that Roy Keane was ‘probably right’ about his lack of action following the Ireland captain’s bust up with Mick McCarthy in Saipan.
Appearing on the Late Late Show, Delaney was shown a clip of Keane speaking about the events on the Pacific island before the 2002 World Cup and how John Delaney could have done more to resolve the dispute.
The former Ipswich manager famously said “I’ve been involved with Ireland since I was 15 years of age and that man didn’t have the decency to phone me.”
“He was probably right,” said Delaney to nervous laughter from the studio audience.
“We’ve all said things in the past that we probably regret, I’ve said things about Roy and he’s said things about me as well. The good news is that we’re ringing each other now.”
Delaney also dealt with Brian Kerr’s allegations that the FAI had met with Martin O’Neill before Ireland’s game with Sweden in September.
“I don’t want to bring a sour note but that was rubbish out of Brian.”
“Playing the Sweden game, we still had a great chance of getting to the World Cup playoff and for Brian to say something like that is very disrespectful to people.
“We still had a great chance of qualifying and there was no way that I, or anybody else in the association, would approach another manager when we have a manager in place.
“He’s wrong, he’s just wrong.”
In a wide ranging interview, Delaney was asked about about not appointing Mick McCarthy — with whom he says he still has a good relationship — and just how important Denis O’Brien remains to securing high profile managers like Martin O’Neill.
In typical Late Late Show fashion, the FAI chief ended the interview by giving everyone in the audience free tickets to next week’s friendly with Latvia when O’Neill and Keane make their managerial debut.