'Roy Keane shouldn't be involved in football' - former Man City chief

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Manchester United's Roy Keane (top) takes a look at Manchester City's Alf Inge Haaland after Keane was sent off following a tackle on Haaland
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James Cox

Former Manchester City chairman David Bernstein has claimed it is “absolutely appalling” that Roy Keane is still involved in football.

Bernstein was the club's chairman in 2001 when Keane's horror challenge on Alf-Inge Haaland left him with an injury that eventually finished his career.

Keane's bad feeling against the Norwegian footballer dated back to 1997 when the Corkman ruptured his cruciate ligament attempting a challenge on Haaland.

Haaland subsequently enraged Keane by accusing him of feigning injury.

Four years later, Keane sought revenge with an outrageous challenge on Haaland, he was sent off after planting his studs on his opponent's right knee.

Manchester United's Roy Keane is called over by referee David Elleray and is subsequenty sent off for his tackle on Alf Inge Haaland

Writing in his autobiography, Keane admitted the challenge was his way of seeking revenge and that he intended to injure Haaland.

Bernstein said he is reminded of the moment every time Keane appears on television, adding that he feels the former Manchester United captain should have no involvement in football.

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“I’ve never forgotten it. From a personal point of view, that was the worst individual thing I’ve been directly involved in, and the worst I’ve ever seen on the pitch. As a human being, it was an awful thing to see,” Bernstein told The Athletic.

“Roy Keane stood over him and basically said, ‘Take that, you bastard’. It was done in cold blood.

“It was a cold-blooded incident. I have never forgiven Keane for that. I think, frankly, it’s dreadful he’s accepted in football the way he is. After doing something like that, I think it’s absolutely appalling.

“Whenever Keane turns up on television, I switch off. I just won’t watch it. I’m appalled that he’s still involved with football. It’s just not right.

“Things happen, injuries do happen, but to do it deliberately and admit it the way he did, to sell his book, I think is completely beyond the pale.”

Keane later claimed his thoughts on the tackle had been interpreted by ghostwriter Eamon Dunphy.

Manchester United's Roy Keane (left) battles for the ball with Manchester City's Alfie Haaland, during their FA Premiership derby football match at Maine Road, in Manchester. *30/04/01
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He subsequently rowed back on the claim in his second book, written with Roddy Doyle.

“It was action; it was football. It was dog eat dog. I’ve kicked lots of players, and I know the difference between hurting somebody and injuring somebody. I didn’t go to injure Haaland.

“When you play sport, you know how to injure somebody. That’s why you see people on the pitch getting upset when they see a certain type of tackle; they know what the intention behind the tackle was.

“I don’t think any player who played against me and who I’ve had battles with — Patrick Vieira, the Arsenal players, the Chelsea lads — I don’t think any of them would say anything too bad about me. They’d say that I was nasty, and that I liked a battle, but I don’t think any of them would say that I was underhanded.”

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