By John Ensor •
Published: 20 Nov 2023 • 19:40
IRISH hardman Roy Keane has been challenged by a former Ireland teammate after a long-running disagreement.
Personal grudges can last years, especially at the highest levels of sport. Could a boxing ring be the next venue for resolving a long-standing football feud?
Ex-Liverpool midfielder and former Ireland teammate of Roy Keane, Jason McAteer has suggested a unique way to settle their differences, a boxing match with a hefty purse of £1 million.
Football pundit McAteer was in a discussion following Ireland’s game against the Netherlands on Saturday, November 18, when the decades-old fallout was raised, the context of which revolves around an ongoing disagreement stemming from an incident in 2002.
During a match between Manchester United and Sunderland, with just 10 -seconds to go Keane was red-carded for elbowing McAteer, an action that has fuelled their rivalry over the years.
The dispute, which had simmered down, resurfaced recently when Keane openly criticized McAteer on The Overlap’s ‘Stick to Football’ podcast. Reflecting on the red card incident, Keane was unapologetic, stating, ‘He deserved that.’
This blunt assertion by Keane was in response to host Gary Neville’s commentary on the incident. Further, when Jill Scott inquired if the two were friends, Keane’s response was a definitive ‘Absolutely not.’
McAteer, now a pundit for beIN Sports, responded to Keane’s comments by labelling him a ‘clown’ in a social media post. This back-and-forth exchange has reignited the tensions between the two, leading to McAteer’s bold challenge.
McAteer, expressing his weariness of the ongoing animosity, jokingly proposed the idea of a boxing match to resolve their differences. ‘Or, we could get in the ring for a million pounds each and fight it out.’
This light-hearted suggestion also included a call to famous boxing promoter Eddie Hearn to potentially arrange the bout. ‘Eddie [Hearn], if you’re watching… Eddie Hearn, get him on the phone,’ he said.
Fans of Roy Keane were quick to post their thoughts on OurGameHQ/Twitter/X: ‘McAteer was a very limited footballer whose entire game consisted of “getting in people’s heads.” Meanwhile Keane was captaining United to the Treble.’
Another commented: ‘”Long running feud” I’d say Keane has barely given McAteer a second thought in 20 years.’
‘Just staying relevant. He wasn’t fit to lace Keane’s boots!’ added another.
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Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina.
He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.
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