England vs Croatia: Roy Keane and Ian Wright in aggressive on-air spat after World Cup semi-final defeat

Jack de Menezes
The Independent

Roy Keane and Ian Wright were involved in an aggressive on-air spat after England’s 2-1 defeat by Croatia, with the former Republic of Ireland captain accusing the ex-England striker of “embarrassing himself” after he made jest of his accent.

Keane initially criticised Wright for getting ahead of himself and dreaming about England reaching the World Cup final when they were yet to negotiate the semi-final with Croatia.

Ultimately, it proved a step too far as England suffered an extra-time defeat due to a late Mario Mandzukic winner, bringing to an end the Three Lions’ dream of winning the World Cup for the first time since 1966.

However, while the contest was all over on the pitch, off it the action was just starting.

Speaking on ITV, Keane and Wright went toe-to-toe. Here’s the transcript of what they said.

Roy Keane: “You were planning the final, where the parades were. You need a reality check.”

  • Read more

Ian Wright: “Why shouldn’t we get excited about it? It’s something to get excited about. People weren’t even expecting us to get to the semi-final, why couldn’t we have got excited about being in there (final)?”

RK: “Just take it one game as it comes. Take it a game at a time. You’ve no idea what it’s like to get to a finals, or even get to a World Cup. You’ve never been to a World Cup finals.”

It was at this point that Wright started to take the mick out of Keane’s accent by repeating “final” at him in an Irish accent.


Roy Keane and Ian Wright were involved in a heated argument on ITV after England's defeat by Croatia ( ITV)

Unsurprisingly, Keane did not take kindly to where the argument had gone.

“You know what I’m talking about. You’ve embarrassed yourself,” he sniped, before turning away from Wright.

Appearing to realise what he had done, Wright stopped and added: “He’s going to cane me again.”

  • Read more

The spat quickly grabbed the attention of viewers on ITV, with one notable onlooker being the former Labour leader Ed Miliband who said: “Roy Keane is just awful I am sorry.”

Wright appeared to play down the spat, tweeting out a video of the argument with the caption: “Why can't we be excited Roy? Why can't we be happy? We loved every minute of it!”

What to read next