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Kevin Kilbane Responds To Outlandish Messi Allegations Made By Argentinian Newspaper

PJ Browne
By PJ Browne
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Major Agentinian newspaper 'La Nacion' made the outlandish allegation today that Irish players had been paid $10,000 each not to hurt Leo Messi during a friendly against Argentina at the Aviva in August 2010.

The FAI has already issued a statement 'completely refuting' the claims and also said that they are consulting their legal advisers regarding the article.


Speaking to TV3, former Irish international Kevin Kilbane, who played in the game, said the allegations were 'basically questioning us as professionals'.

I am totally unaware of it. There was no suggestion around the game that we were to stay clear of Lionel Messi, and of course none of the players received any money as payment regarding this.

It’s total news to me and I’m sure it will be news to a lot of the other lads as well.

It’s quite poor. There have been a lot of allegations over the last month or so aimed at us. Mud sticks, I suppose, and it’s not nice when these sort of allegations are being thrown against the players.

It’s basically questioning us as professionals, it’s questioning us as people as well. But again, none of the players – I certainly didn’t take any money regarding this, and there’s nothing else really that I can add to it.

Kilbane also recounted some memories regarding the game.

To us, it was a big occasion because it was the opening of the Aviva. We lost the game – I think it was Di Maria who scored the goal, as it turned out – and it was a great occasion to be part of, the first ever game at the Aviva.

It was in many respects going back to Lansdowne Road – it’s where we felt as though our football home was – so for these sort of allegations to come out around it, it certainly makes me feel a little bit uneasy.

It does seem to me like someone has come up with a story or a theory. Two and two make 10, I suppose. That’s the only thing I can think of regarding it.

It seems to me they have looked at what’s happened over the last month, they have looked at the allegations that have been made against us and they have come up with a theory.

Again, I totally refute it, totally deny it.

Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE



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