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 October 16, 2002 | 1022 IST

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Roy Keane handed five-match ban and hefty fine

Jeremy Butler

Manchester United captain Roy Keane was banned for five matches and fined a record 150,000 pounds ($233,100) after being found guilty on two charges of disrepute by the English Football Association on Tuesday.

The suspension is due to start on November 4, though Keane, who is currently recovering from hip surgery, has 14 days to appeal against the decision.

"Clearly after the arguments that have been put forward in Roy's defence, we are disappointed with the verdict," Manchester United director Maurice Watkins said. "But after such a long day now is not the time to make quick decisions, so we will be reviewing the question of appeal over the next 14 days."

The 31-year-old Keane faced disrepute charges over a claim in his autobiography that he deliberately set out to hurt Manchester City midfielder Alf Inge Haaland in a game in April 2001.

The first charge related to the tackle itself which earned Keane a red card, while the second addressed the question of the Irishman publishing an account of the incident for financial reward.

Keane had hoped the joint representation of his solicitor Michael Kennedy and lawyer Watkins would sway the verdict his way during the seven-hour hearing at Bolton's Reebok Stadium.

United manager Alex Ferguson also turned up for the hearing, but the three-man committee decided to accept the FA's case, which was led by top barrister Jim Sturman.

Keane, who will be available to return for United's premier league match against title rivals Arsenal on December 7, has not played since being sent off against Sunderland on August 31 for elbowing his Ireland international team mate Jason McAteer.


The dismissal, the ninth of Keane's Old Trafford career, brought an immediate three-match ban, and United decided to use the enforced break to allow their captain to undergo a hip operation.

During the nine games since Keane last played, United have won seven and lost two of their premier league and Champions League matches, with England's Nicky Butt and Argentine Juan Sebastian Veron mainly deployed in the centre of midfield.

Tuesday's verdict continued a turbulent year for Keane, who is set for more controversy next month when Ireland manager Mick McCarthy releases his book about the World Cup.

Keane was sent home following a row with McCarthy at a training camp before the tournament started.

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