The Professional Football Association has outlined that they will defend Derby and Ireland defender Richard Keogh after his contract was terminated by the club last week.
Keogh was dismissed with immediate effect on the grounds of ‘gross misconduct’ after he was involved in a car crash which saw Derby teammates Tom Lawrence and Mason Bennett charged with drink driving.
The Irish defender suffered a knee injury in the incident which will see him miss over a year of action, with a report in The Times claiming that Keogh’s decision not to wear a seatbelt was a contributing factor in the club’s decision.
While Keogh exited the club, both Lawrence and Bennett remain at the club and were fined six weeks’ wages by Derby.
They have since returned to action for the Championship club. Keogh was the only one to suffer a serious injury in the crash and will not play until the end of 2020 at the earliest.
Keogh has 14 days from the day of his dismissal to appeal Derby’s decision and the PFA have explained that they would work to defend the 33-year-old.
“We will robustly defend our member because we feel he has been unfairly treated,” said a PFA spokesman.
Speaking to Talksport earlier this week, Keogh’s agent Cos Toffis outlined that he feels if Keogh’s dismissal is upheld, it could set a dangerous precedent for other clubs to follow.
“I think it could be quite a big can of worms. If this goes in Derby’s favour there will be a lot of players in difficult positions at their football clubs.
“Older players with less market value who are on a lot of money, these are scenarios you have at every football club in the world. Should they start wrapping themselves up in cotton wool to avoid any situations like this?”
Derby County have said that they would be making no further comments on the situation until the outcome of the appeal.
Keogh had been an integral part of Ireland’s push for Euro 2020 qualification before the incident which will now see him miss next summer’s tournament should the Boys in Green qualify.
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