Sunday 23 October 2016

"Isn't John Delaney always a distraction?" Roy Keane jokes

Published 05/06/2015 | 11:34

Republic of Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane joked that FAI CEO John Delaney is again a distraction but refused to be drawn on the last Fifa revelations.

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Delaney and Fifa both confirmed that a €5m payment was made to the Association following Thierry Henry's infamous handball in 2009.

Speaking at Ireland's training session in Malahide this morning, Keane was asked if the FAI chief was creating further headlines following the payment revelation.

"John Delaney is always a distraction," he joked.

"To be honest, the players have hardly spoken about it. I spoke briefly this morning about it to the staff, but we are focused on the match and that is what I am here to talk about. The focus has to be on the match."

Keane described former disgraced FIFA vice-chairman Jack Warner as a "disgrace" in 2008 and was asked if he had any further grievances with him.

John Delaney confirmed that the FAI came to a settlement with FIFA after Thierry Henry's handball
FAI boss John Delaney with his partner, Emma English
John Delaney contrasted the work of UEFA against the scandal that has enveloped FIFA
John Delaney came to a settlement with FIFA after Thierry Henry's handball in 2009

Sunday's international friendly will be further preparation ahead of next weekend's crunch European qualifier and Keane says the squad are eagerly looking forward to the afternoon kick-off at the Aviva Stadium.

"The players want to play England. They want to beat England."

"They [England] have some very good players. It will be a good test for our players."

After a 1-0 defeat to the Scots last November, Martin O'Neill's side desperately seek the three points to keep their push for second place in the group.

The former Manchester United captain sees the friendly as a stepping stone for the competitive fixture next Saturday.

"The England game will take care of itself but we must make sure we are peaking for Saturday," he said. "That's what it's all about."

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