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Warner blasts back at Keane

The war of words between Roy Keane and Jack Warner has intensified with the FIFA vice-president making a personal attack on the Sunderland manager, after the Irishman had called him "a clown" amid the row over Keane's decision to withdraw Dwight Yorke from international duty.

The Sunderland boss described Warner said: "If he is vice-president of FIFA, then God help us", and suggested he wrote letters on FIFA-headed writing paper "just to impress everybody".

Now Warner has retaliated with a new letter attacking Keane - and making a dig about his own conduct in walking out on the Republic of Ireland before the 2002 World Cup.

The letter says: "The disrespectful tone of your reported comments further demonstrates the total disrespect that you and others of your ilk have generally for players and officials from 'small' countries.

"It is obviously difficult for you to accept the fact that someone from a 'small' country could rise to become a vice-president of FIFA.

"I chose to respond on a FIFA letter-head because that is a privilege afforded me owing to my said status and the fact that your callousness showed utter disregard for FIFA's regulations re the release of players for international duty. Regrettably, but not surprisingly, you did not grasp the message.

"In closing may I remind you that a player's greatest honour is to represent his country in spite of the fact that you chose to walk away from yours during the 2002 Korea/Japan World Cup after publicly abusing your manager... indictment that you will no doubt be proud of up to today. Poor Sunderland."

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