The FAI will lodge an official complaint with UEFA in the wake of the after match scenes in Turkey which followed Ireland's exit from the Euro 2000 Championship.
The Turks went crazy at the final whistle, the goal-less stalemate ensuring their appearance in Holland and Belgium for the finals next summer. Republic substitute Tony Cascarino was kicked by Turkey's Ali Eren. Cascarino, playing in his final International after he officially confirmed his retirement from International football today, retaliated and a brawl erupted although it was quickly broken up. Cascarino is Ireland's most capped player with 88 caps. FAI President Pat Quigley confirmed that there would be an official protest to UEFA.
The incident occurred as the Republic failed at the play-off stage for the third consecutive time to reach the finals of a major tournament when they could only muster a scoreless draw with Turkey in the Attaturk Stadium in Bursa last night. The Turks go through on the away goals rule after last weekend's 1-1 draw at Lansdowne Road. Despite a gutsy display Ireland could not find the goal which would have meant so much.
Ireland Manager, Mick McCarthy said that he was disappointed with the result but not with his team’s performance. He said that the players were magnificent and played some good football.
McCarthy also missed out on the World Cup finals two years ago after Ireland failed in a play-off against Belgium and the side also lost to Holland two years earlier in a one-off eliminator for the last place at Euro 96. But the manager, already nearly four years in the job, rebuilding predecessor Jack Charlton's glorious but ageing squad, will keep it for the run up to the next World Cup. He signed a new two-year contract last month.
Irish soccer fans aren't the only ones drowning their sorrows today, Scotland also failed in their bid to qualifiy for the Euro 2000 finals. England go through despite being beaten 1-0 by the Scots at Wembley last night. Scotland scored through a Don Hutchinson header six minutes before half-time but failed to beat English 'keeper David Seaman again to keep their finals hopes alive.
Elsewhere, Slovenia caused an upset drawing 1-1 with Ukraine in the snow in Kiev to go through 3-2 on aggregate. A 79th minute equaliser from Serhiy Rebrov gave the former Yugoslav nation the overall victory that takes them into their first major championship since the country became independent in 1991. Elsewhere, Denmark were 3-0 winners over Israel to win their tie 8-0 over the two legs.
The full list of participants for next summer's finals in Belgium and Holland is: Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, France, Romania, Yugoslavia, Czech Republic, Spain, Sweden, Norway, Portugal, England, Turkey, Denmark and Slovenia.The draw to divide the finalists into four groups will be made on Sunday, December 12th.
Meanwhile, Juventus tonight denied they were planning to sign Manchester United captain Roy Keane. Club vice-president Roberto Bettega responded to a newspaper report that a deal had been agreed for the summer when the Republic of Ireland midfielder's Old Trafford contract ends. Earlier, United chairman Martin Edwards claims United will launch new talks with Keane over his future before the New Year. United will make one last bid to solve Keane's contract before the January 1st deadline, after which he can talk to any of the European clubs over his future.