• International friendlies

Keane cleared to face England

ESPN staff
May 23, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Robbie Keane is Ireland's leading scorer, with 54 goals in 123 appearances © PA Photos
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LA Galaxy have given permission for Robbie Keane to play for the Republic of Ireland in next week's friendly with England at Wembley.

The nation's all-time record goal scorer was forced to withdraw from Giovanni Trapattoni's squad after Galaxy officials insisted he has to remain in America for MLS games against Seattle Sounders and New England Revolution.

With the games falling outside of the official FIFA window for international matches, Keane needed special dispensation from his club to play and Galaxy have now relented, allowing the Dubliner to realise a long-held ambition to pull on the green shirt at Wembley Stadium.

"I would like to thank LA Galaxy for reconsidering their decision, after further conversations between us, which really means a lot to me," Keane said. "We have reached an agreement that will enable me to make it to the games and I look forward to playing my part."

This will be the first time the Republic of Ireland have played England since an infamous friendly in Dublin between the two countries was abandoned in 1995 due to crowd violence sparked by visiting fans.

The English football authorities and their Irish counterparts were keen to banish the memories of one of the most shameful nights in English football history by staging this game to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Football Association.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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