The former Ireland soccer captain, Roy Keane has said he would love to play in the World Cup.

In a half-hour interview broadcast by RTE tonight he gave his version of the events and exchanges which led to his being dropped from the World Cup squad in Japan.

In the interview, Keane said he was aware of the amount of pain and confusion the row with Mick McCarthy had caused in Ireland. But, he said, he felt he had been backed into a corner at the Ireland training camp in Saipan, and he had come out fighting.

The Taoiseach said this evening he would be much happier next Saturday morning if Roy Keane was playing and it would be "just great" if the former Ireland captain was reconciled with manager Mick McCarthy.

However, Mr Ahern said that sport and politics do not mix, as there was a line between the two that it would be totally incorrect to cross, and that the Roy Keane situation was one for the FAI, Mick McCarthy and Roy Keane himself.

But he added that a lot of people would be happier, and sleeping better, if Keane was on the team.

However the FAI treasurer John Delaney said it appears nothing has changed in the situation regarding Roy Keane. He said an apology from Roy Keane would be helpful but he did not know what that would achieve at this stage. He said the matter remains unresolved.

In an interview published in this morning's Daily Mail, the former Republic of Ireland soccer captain said a player could not speak to a manager like that and continue to work under him.

In the Daily Mail interview, Keane tried to put in context the pressure he was under and how hurt he felt when confronted by his manager in front of the Irish squad and accused of disloyalty. He admitted that what he said to Mick McCarthy and the language that he used meant the manager had no option but to send him home.

"A player cannot speak to a manager like that and continue to work under him. Of that charge, I am guilty. I have never called Sir Alex Ferguson anything of the kind. We have had our arguments, of course, but I would not be a Manchester United player today if I had ever spoken to him like that," he said.

It became clear yesterday that the rumours of Sunday tabloid revelations about Keane's private life were completely unfounded.

A small number of people, including Keane's agent Michael Kennedy were still working behind the scenes to achieve reconciliation. Last night, Keane spoke by phone to the new Irish captain, Steve Staunton.