Play chess to avoid injury, says Roy Keane

Roy Keane weighed-in on the debate around concussion in football
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The Colorado Rapids and Republic of Ireland strike announced his immediate retirement from the game, after suffering from repeated headaches as a result of concussions.

Keane, now assistant manager to Martin O'Neill with the Republic of Ireland, was reacting to last week's announcement concerning Kevin Doyle.

Roy Keane has provided a withering response to a question about head knocks and concussions in football, insisting that any player too anxious about the physical side of sport should take up chess. It's part of the game, whether it be hurling, football, American football, the rugby lads, it's part of the game. "We don't want him to over-do it but at some stage you've got to join in, get involved and play some sort of 11vs11 if you can".

'I think the players who are playing now regularly, it wouldn't make a difference to them. When you cross that line, there's a chance that you might get a knock.

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Roy Keane believes footballers who are concerned by the risk of injury would be better off playing chess.

"He's 34, he probably feels he's had a decent innings", the Ireland assistant manager said. I hope Kevin has picked the right time to say "enough's enough" for him.

It is now unclear whether McCarthy, who has 41 caps, will be fit for the Moldova game on Friday, with O'Neill saying that they are evaluating his situation on a "day-by-day" basis. It's sad, but I'm sure he's made the right decision. He's a centre-forward. He's going to be having a lot of challenges with centre-halves, as he'd expect.

I'm sure he's knocked a few centre halves over himself and he's had a few knocks and that's part of the game.

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Peter McCabe, the chief executive of Headway, said in a statement: "Sport plays a key role in keeping us fit and healthy and it's important to address safety measures with a common sense approach that does not discourage people from taking part in sports that take a responsible approach to head injuries". I think they've more scientists involved now than there needs to be.

Doyle said: "Two concussions this season and numerous others over the years have made this more concerning".

"That's our goal now, not just to win big games here or there".

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