Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

FIFA Spoil the Party as Keane Cries Foul; the World Cup

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

FIFA Spoil the Party as Keane Cries Foul; the World Cup

Article excerpt


ROBBIE KEANE feels cheated. He looks around the bustling lobby of the Westin Chosun hotel in downtown Seoul and he wants to strangle someone from FIFA.

They have dampened his World Cup enthusiasm. They have taken the pleasure out of the bow and arrow goal against Saudi Arabia that sent the Republic of Ireland on their way to the second phase of the 2002 finals.

And Keane, the first Irishman to score two goals at a World Cup finals, is not a happy camper.

He was pulled for a drugs test in the Republic's second Group E game against Germany, just seconds after his dramatic equaliser, and took two hours to fill the bottle.

Then, incredibly, he was tapped on the shoulder again as Ireland left their Yokohama field of dreams in the wake of Tuesday's 3-0 win against the Saudis.

An angry Keane was caught by the cameras telling the FIFA officials where to go. They, in turn, sent him to the medical room and three hours later he finally got to join his teammates back at their hotel.

"In years to come my kids or even my grandkids might ask me what it was like in the Irish dressing-room when I scored in the games against Germany and Saudi Arabia and helped us to the second phase of the World Cup finals. I will not be able to tell them," said an angry young man.

"It is so unfair. When the rest of the lads were in the dressing-room celebrating that goal against Germany, I was stuck in a FIFA medical room tryingto take a pee. It took me two hours that night and it was agony. I drank about eight litres of water, my stomach was in bits and I just couldn't perform for the bottle. It was a nightmare.

"Then I got pulled again on Tuesday.

I could not believe it, I could not fathom how I was picked out of a hat for the second game in a row.

"It was appalling. My clothes were brought into the FIFA room, I showered and changed there and three hours later I was still trying to fill that bottle. …

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