Roy Keane is under investigation for allegedly punching a man in the face outside the Republic of Ireland’s hotel ahead of Friday’s match against Scotland.
According to the Daily Mail, following today’s training the Ireland assistant manager had a brief exchange of words with a person outside of the luxury Links Hotel in Portmarnock. The fight is said to have begun quickly and allegedly ended with Keane punching the man in the face, knocking him to the ground.
An unnamed source described the incident:
‘It appeared fairly innocuous. A man approached Roy outside the hotel, there appeared to be a few heated words and then the man was on the ground. It happened very quickly. Gardai were called along with the ambulance services and the man was taken away to receive medical attention.’
The ‘Gardai’ refers to Ireland’s police force, which immediately launched an investigation into the incident. A Gardai spokesman confirmed:
‘Gardai are investigating an incident where officers were called to a location outside a hotel in Portmarknock. No criminal complaint has been made and investigations are ongoing. Medical assistance was rendered.’
The Gardai was allegedly called by a witness, not the victim. A senior source noted:
‘At the moment, there is no criminal complaint made. This could change. But without a criminal complaint Gardaí will not move to make any arrests. However gardai are investigating the alleged assault without a criminal complaint. CCTV is being sought.’
If the victim does choose to make an official complaint, the Gardai would be within their rights to arrest Keane and detain him for questioning.
The former Manchester United player is no stranger to controversy having head-butted and punched his own goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel in 1998, ended the career of Leeds midfielder Alf-Inge Haaland with a studs up tackle in 2001 and scrapped with Patrick Vieria in 2005.
With the current issue, even if Keane escapes criminal charges his conduct may nevertheless face punishment from Ireland and Aston Villa, where he currently serves as assistant manager.