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FAI get €463k boost from FIFA as Keane hits out at 'impostor' players



Roy Keane. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Roy Keane. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile


Roy Keane. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

The FAI have received an unexpected windfall of €463,000 after FIFA made a special advance payment available to all national associations to help them cope with the financial implications of the Covid-19 pandemic.

But on another roller-coaster day, Roy Keane took aim at members of Martin O'Neill's Ireland squad, labelling some of them "impostors to the game".

Already struggling with debts of at least €62 million and only surviving due to grant aid from UEFA and a €30m government package, the FAI have been hit hard by the financial effects of coronavirus, with senior staff members taking a pay cut.

Earlier this week, FAI interim CEO Gary Owens said it was vital for the association's financial health to be able to play autumn internationals - starting with the Nations League game at home to Finland in September - in front of a crowd as TV income, match-day revenue and sponsorship deals are crucial for the association. Interim deputy CEO Niall Quinn also said the FAI would look to FIFA for grant aid and the world football body announced a payment of $500,000 (€463,000) for all national associations.

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"The pandemic has caused unprecedented challenges for the entire football community and, as the world governing body, it is FIFA's duty to be there and support the ones that are facing acute needs," FIFA president Gianni Infantino said.

Meanwhile, former Ireland assistant manager Keane has again vented his anger at the players who struggled under O'Neill.

"A lot of the modern players now that I worked with recently, and I am on about when I worked at Aston Villa for a while, with the Irish senior team, Nottingham Forest, there are a lot of players out there who are impostors. Impostors to the game, of being a professional footballer," Keane told Sky Sports.

"They talk about being professional but they are the opposite. You talk about good or bad players, I am on about them as people, as human beings, you are almost pandering to them, we're getting to the stage where we'll start praising players for putting their boots on, that's the stage we are getting to."

Irish Independent