Football: O'Neill backs Keane over 'assault' claims

LONDON - Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill pledged "full support" for his assistant Roy Keane on Thursday after the ex-Manchester United captain was accused of assaulting a member of the public.

British and Irish media reports alleged that Keane, 43, became involved in an altercation with a man at the Ireland team hotel in Portmarnock, north Dublin, on Wednesday evening.

The Football Association of Ireland (FAI) responded by giving Keane its full backing and O'Neill echoed that stance in a video statement released on Thursday.

"The FAI and I have been fully briefed about the circumstances of what happened at the team hotel last night," said O'Neill, whose side play Scotland in a 2016 European Championship qualifier in Glasgow on Friday.

"Roy asked that the Gardai (Irish police) be called and he has notified them of what happened. While this process is ongoing, we are unable to say more at this point.

"However, I can say that having been made aware of the facts, Roy has both my full support and the full support of the FAI and (chief executive) John Delaney.

"We are now focused, as we have been all week, on the game at hand and we won't be saying anything more about this issue."