Ireland's preparations for tonight's crucial World Cup game with Holland were last night clouded in controversy following a bitter war-of-words between manager Jack Charlton and sport's columnist Eamon Dunphy.
Charlton refused to answer Dunphy's questions at a press conference and stormed out, saying: "You're not allowed to ask a question, you are not a proper journalist.
After refusing to answer Dunphy's question , Charlton repeated his comment and added: "These lads here (the other sport writers) are interested in football... you're not. I'm not answering your questions.
At a later press conference, Charlton said: "I am entitled as an individual to talk to whom I want to speak. I think that is pretty straight-forward. I don't like him and I don't have to speak to people I don't like. He stuck his nose in where he knew he would get a reaction.
"I think he is a bitter little man and I certainly don't want to talk to someone who is ashamed to be an Irishman."
But the 'Sunday Independent' columnist claimed the real issues of Irish soccer were not being addressed because the manager had bullied journalists.
"In five tournament matches we have only reproduced our real form once and that was against the Soviets in Germany," he said.
He denied that his attendance at the press conference was designed to provoke the manager.
"It was not a publicity stunt... I am sad that it happened."