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Robbie Keane is expected to withdraw from the Republic of Ireland squad for the Euro 2004 qualifier in Georgia, because of the death of his father.

The Tottenham striker’s father died on Monday night after a long battle against cancer.

A Football Association of Ireland official said on Tuesday morning that it was “safe to assume” that the player would not travel to Georgia.

Keane released a statement saying his father had been “inspirational in every part of my life”.

“He fought a very brave and long fight against cancer, but always remained in good spirits,” said Keane.

“I considered him more like a brother to me than a father.

“It fills me with pride to remember that the last match he saw me play in was against Everton when I was lucky enough to score a hat-trick.

“I would be very grateful if my family and I could be allowed our privacy to grieve for a wonderful man.”

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