Stephen Kelly has stated that he is ‘shocked and disgusted’ at Giovanni Trapattoni’s comments in relation to his commitment to the Ireland team.

The Ireland manager insinuated yesterday that Kelly did not want to travel for international duty unless he was going to play.

Trapattoni said: “You know what happened in the situation with Kelly? ‘I play or I go home’."

And the Reading defender, who has been capped 32 times for Ireland, later lashed out at Trapattoni, issuing a strongly worded statement confirming his total commitment to the national team.

“It is extremely disappointing for me to have to make this statement. I am simply shocked and disgusted with the untrue and unwarranted comments made by Giovanni Trapattoni.

“These hurtful and untrue comments have caused distress and upset to myself and my family who have supported me throughout my career and know the level of commitment and passion I have always shown in representing my country.

“I have proudly represented Ireland from the age of 16, and I have never shown anything other than 100% commitment to my country and my team.

“I cannot and will not tolerate attempts to defame my commitment and loyalty to Ireland.

“Representing Ireland at senior international level has given me some of my proudest moments in my professional career, and for me captaining my country will always be my greatest achievement.

“It saddens me greatly that I should have to defend my good character and reputation in a profession I love, however, I refuse to allow anyone to question my passion for representing Ireland.

“I will continue as always to proudly be available for my country.”