ROY KEANE insists that concussion injuries are merely part of football and that players who don’t like it should “play chess.”
The former Manchester United great says there is always a possibility of suffering a serious head injury.
Keane, now assistant manager to Martin O’Neill with the Republic of Ireland, was reacting to last week’s announcement concerning Kevin Doyle.
Doyle called time on professional soccer at the age of 34 having played more than 60 times for Ireland.
The ex-Reading, Wolves and QPR striker retired on medical advice.
He had been suffering from persistent headaches in recent months, showing that problems did not necessarily go away when heavy leather balls were phased out.
Doyle said: “Two concussions this season and numerous others over the years have made this more concerning.
“After consulting the experts in this field, it has been decided that to avoid the possibility of these symptoms becoming more serious and permanent, I will be hanging my boots up for good.”
“If you’re worried about the physical side of any sport, then play chess. It’s part of the game, whether it’s hurling or American Football.
“You see the rugby lads. When you cross the line, there is an element of risk involved.
“They all want to play but know the risk. I’m sure there is research. But there is a chance you might get hurt. It is part of the game.
“I was surprised when I read about it (Doyle’s retirement). He was involved in provisional squads. It’s sad, he feels he made the right decisions.
“He’s a decent guy and did well for Ireland. He’s 34, felt he had a decent innings and maybe this is the right time. Health is your wealth as they say.
“I saw the statement which said he had one or two concussions. We mentioned risk and when you walk onto a football pitch, there is an element of risk. He feels it is right for him.
“It is part of the game, players picking up injuries. He is a centre forward, and he gets a few knocks from centre-backs, I’m sure he has given out a few himself. It’s a physical game.”