The controversy between Sunderland manager Roy Keane and Jack Warner took a new twist on Friday with a letter from the FIFA vice-president hitting out at the former Manchester United star.
Keane was initially angered by Warner's criticism when Sunderland striker Dwight Yorke withdrew from Trinidad and Tobago's World Cup match against the United States two days ago, with reports saying Keane had a lot to do with the player's decision.
But Keane hit back to say: “Yorke is retired. I've told Jack what I think of him and where to go. He's a clown, a disgrace.”
The Sunderland boss described Warner, a special advisor to the Trinidad and Tobago FA, added: “If he is vice-president of FIFA, then God help us”, and suggested he wrote letters on FIFA-headed writing paper “just to impress everybody”.
Now Warner has retaliated with a new letter attacking Keane – and criticising the Irishman's own conduct in walking out on the Republic of Ireland before the 2002 World Cup.
Friday's letter, which was seen by the British Press Association, said: “The disrespectful tone of your reported comments further demonstrates the total disrespect that you and others of your ilk have generally for players and officials from 'small' countries.
“It is obviously difficult for you to accept the fact that someone from a 'small' country could rise to become a vice-president of FIFA.
“I chose to respond on a FIFA letter-head because that is a privilege afforded me owing to my said status and the fact that your callousness showed utter disregard for FIFA's regulations regarding the release of players for international duty. Regrettably, but not surprisingly, you did not grasp the message.
“In closing, may I remind you that a player's greatest honour is to represent his country in spite of the fact that you chose to walk away from yours during the 2002 Korea/Japan World Cup after publicly abusing your manager… indictment that you will no doubt be proud of up to today. Poor Sunderland.”
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