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Dunphy: 'Ray is OK, World Cup is tough work'

Eamon Dunphy knows all about the pressure of covering a World Cup and sympathised with colleague Ray Houghton who had to fly home from Brazil due to illness.

Mr Houghton, who flew home on Sunday night, was due to commentate on the Costa Rica versus the Netherlands quarter-final but was rushed to hospital just before he was meant to go on air.


He began complaining that he was feeling unwell and was brought to hospital.

RTE pundit Eamon Dunphy said that the football team overseas in Brazil "do an inordinate amount of travelling".

"Apparently he's suffering from hypertension and high blood pressure," said Mr Dunphy about the soccer commentator.

"It's been very tough. I imagine and Ray obviously has fallen ill.

"I don't think it's 
anything serious, but he's coming home which means George (Hamilton) is on his own," the RTE soccer pundit said.

After it was discovered that Ray was suffering from hypertension, doctors allowed the former Irish international to board a flight home.

Mr Hamilton then went on to commentate on the last World Cup quarter-final, which went into extra time and penalties, by himself. He was commentating alone for approximately 125 minutes.

Mr Houghton's shock exit has left Mr Hamilton on his own in Brazil but Mr Dunphy said he would not be putting his name forward as a replacement.

"If they're looking for volunteers I won't be volunteering. I'd rather be in the studio with the lads working," stated Mr Dunphy.

He joked that you get to see more of the tournament on the big screens if you are at home as opposed to at the matches themselves.

He then explained that working abroad as a journalist is tough work.

"If you're on the road as a journalist and you're writing you're copy it's not so much fun," said the RTE soccer pundit. "I covered the 1994 World Cup in the United States and it was very hard work."


A source told The Herald that Trevor Keegan is still in Brazil so he will co-commentate the remaining games of the World Cup with Mr Hamilton.

Mr Hamilton has spoken about their hectic schedule in Brazil. With the stadia in various cities across the large country he and Mr Houghton spent 13 hours on one flight that made four stop overs.