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'I wasn’t prepared to let someone accuse me of faking an injury' | Arter on Roy Keane fallout

Harry Arter says he felt disrespected when accused of faking an injury by former Republic of Irel...

Harry Arter says he felt disrespected when accused of faking an injury by former Republic of Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane. 

Speaking about the incident for the first time, exclusively on The Football Show on Off The Ball, the Fulham midfielder expressed his belief that Keane got the situation "totally wrong" and that the abuse he received was "uncalled for".

The 31-year-old and striker Jonathan Walters were instructed not to train by the FAI's medical staff at an international training camp in 2018 due to injury concerns, which resulted in the assistant boss launching separate verbal tirades at both men in the team hotel.

The details of the fiery exchange became public when a Whatsapp message recorded by their teammate Stephen Ward went public and Arter briefly stepped away from the international setup in the aftermath.

“I regarded it as a lack of respect," Arter told Joe Molloy. "Purely for no reason to be honest. At the time it was uncalled for. I’m not the sort of lad who would fake an injury and the ironic thing was it was in the middle of the summer.

“It was the middle of the off season, so if I was faking an injury I wouldn’t be sitting in a hotel. That’s the last thing I’d be doing.”

“Roy got it totally wrong with why he thought I was injured or maybe the injury itself. He didn’t realise the extent of what it was. I put it down now to a misunderstanding."

In September 2019, Keane launched an attack on the Off The Ball roadshow, saying that Arter and Walters at the time overreacted and said they got the situation wrong.

“I know Roy has done a few interviews since and he’s named checked me and Stephen Ward and Jon Walters but it’s something I would never want to get involved in.

“It is what it is. I wasn’t prepared to let someone accuse me of faking an injury.

"If I was faking an injury, I wouldn’t be doing it on the off season when I could be on holiday. I would be on a beach somewhere.”

Arter said he has since spoken to Roy and both men agreed to put the argument behind them. The Fulham midfielder also gave praise to his former manager Martin O’Neill as a man he respected and enjoyed working with.

He said his decision to walk away from the Ireland camp had nothing to do with his relationship towards O’Neill.

“Me and Roy spoke about it about four or five months after and to me it’s finished.

“Martin gave me my debut when some managers wouldn’t. I was only playing in the Championship at the time, but I had a good season with Bournemouth, but I was so thankful for the opportunities he gave me.

“Some of my performances weren’t good enough but I felt a real belief in Martin towards me. For Martin to put his trust in me and put me in the squad, it is something I will always respect. I really enjoyed working with Martin.”

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FAI Harry Arter Irish Soccer Jon Walters Roy Keane Soccer