TV doc revisits the events of Saipan 20 years on

As the 2022 World Cup kicks off, RTE looks back to the seismic story around the 2002 version
TV doc revisits the events of Saipan 20 years on

DIVIDE: Mick McCarthy and Roy Keane in Saipan

AS the World Cup kicks off in Qatar this Sunday, many will recall the divisive events of 20 years ago - Saipan in 2002.

The documentary Saipan - Rebel Without A Ball on RTÉ1 on Monday at 9.35pm is a fresh take on the row between Ireland boss Mick McCarthy and Corkman Roy Keane, which ended with the Corkman going home.

It will not just re-tell the controversy, but explore questions like ‘How far would the team have gone had Roy Keane stayed’?

It includes interviews with Jason McAteer, Shay Given, Stephanie Roche, Bertie Ahern, Paul Kimmage, Mario Rosenstock and others.

The Saipan incident was a public spat ahead of the World Cup in Japan in May 2002, between Republic of Ireland captain Roy Keane and manager Mick McCarthy when the team was preparing in Saipan for its matches. It resulted in Keane  being sent home from the squad. The incident divided public opinion in Ireland regarding who was to blame.

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