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   30 May, 2002 | 1505 IST



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FIFA refuse sub for Keane

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Ireland's request to call Colin Healy into their World Cup squad in place of Roy Keane has been turned down by FIFA, the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) said on Thursday.

Roy Keane Although the world governing body denied earlier on Thursday they had received an official application, the FAI said they had already learned of their failure to convince FIFA that Healy's late call-up had been attempted "under exceptional circumstances".

"We understand that our request has been rejected," FAI general secretary Brendan Menton was quoted as saying by team spokesman Brendan McKenna.

"We weren't confident we would win FIFA's approval, and that has turned out to be the case."

Menton added that manager Mick McCarthy had accepted the decision and just wanted to concentrate on winning their first match of the tournament, against Cameroon on Saturday.

FIFA rules say that a team can replace a player in their squad up to 24 hours before their first match of the tournament if a medical certificate is produced in case of injury, or if "exceptional circumstances" -- such as a family bereavement -- force a change.

Keane's dismissal from the squad by manager Mick McCarthy last week fell into neither category, for the captain was sent home for verbally abusing McCarthy -- two days after Ireland had submitted their official squad list to FIFA on May 21.

It means Ireland will go into the tournament with a 22-man squad. They also face Germany and Saudi Arabia in group E of the finals.

Healy, the Celtic player who spent the second half of last season on loan at English first division club Coventry City, made his debut for Ireland in a friendly against Russia in February.

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