Kane trains with England after shaking off ankle concerns
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Manchester United icon Roy Keane has been called out by former Liverpool and England midfielder Danny Murphy over his criticism of England and Wales for not wearing the OneLove armband in their opening World Cup games. Captains Harry Kane and Gareth Bale were expected to don the armband against Iran and the United States respectively, but a late U-turn was made by the Football Associations which saw them scrap the campaign after players were threatened with punishments.
Keane felt that the nations should have defied FIFA and continued to wear the armband in protest of Qatar’s criminalisation of same-sex relationships. “I think the players could have done it for the first game – took the punishment, whatever that might be,” he told ITV. “If it’s Kane you’re risking getting a yellow card, but that would have been a great statement.
“Do it for the first game, get your yellow card and what a message that would have been. Take your medicine and in the next game, you move on. You don’t wear it because you don’t want to get suspended but, I think it was a big mistake because both players – Wales and England – should have stuck to their guns and done it.”
However Murphy believes that Keane himself would not have worn the armband, despite slamming both England and Wales for making the U-turn. “I think the England camp were put in a no-win situation,” Murphy told Lord Ping.
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“When the decision was made to punish anybody that wore it, it left the management and the players with an easy decision. I hear Roy Keane saying that Kane should have just taken the booking, but I’m not sure he would have done.
“He missed one of the biggest games of his life when he was suspended from playing in the Champions League final after picking up a couple of bookings. He’s forgetting that, as a player, Roy Keane’s priority was winning football matches and to win football matches you need your best players on the pitch.
“If you were to get booked at kick-off and then get booked by an overzealous referee, which we’ve seen a bit of at the tournament already, although most of them have been good, it would only take a misunderstanding of Kane going down too easily and all of a sudden you’re down to ten men.
“I didn’t think his comments were thought through. England are there to win football matches, so why give yourself a disadvantage before you’ve even kicked a ball?”
Welsh FA chief Noel Mooney launched into a furious rant live on TV against FIFA and claimed he could ask Bale to wear the armband and risk punishment in Wales’ first World Cup game in 64 years.
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