Robbie Keane forced to flee Israel amid Hamas attacks

Robbie Keane became manager of Maccabi Tel Aviv over the summer

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Former Premier League and Ireland star Robbie Keane has reportedly been forced to flee Israel amid the attacks by Hamas militants over the weekend.

Keane became manager of Israeli top-flight side Maccabi Tel Aviv over the summer and quickly installed former Ireland teammate Rory Delap as his assistant.

And talkSPORT reported that the pair were forced to spend hours inside a panic room when the initial Hamas attacks – which have reportedly killed more than 700 people in Israel – started on Saturday before subsequently fleeing to Greece.

Following the unprecedented incursions out of the Gaza Strip by the Palestinian Islamic militants, a number of Israeli tanks and personnel carriers were spotted near the Israel-Gaza border on Sunday, the same day that Israel formally declared war on Hamas, heightening fears of what is to come.

Keane scored almost 400 goals for club and country during a hugely successful playing career that began at Wolves in the late 1990s and ended after a spell with Indian Super League side ATK in 2018.


He is part of the Premier League’s prestigious ‘100 club’ of players to have scored more than a century of goals in the English top flight since it rebranded in 1992, having netted for the likes of Leeds, Tottenham and Liverpool. The 43-year-old is also the most-capped player and all-time record goal scorer for Ireland.

He has moved into coaching after retirement, having a brief spell as part of Sam Allardyce’s backroom staff at Leeds as they were relegated from the Premier League last season before signing a two-year contract at Tel Aviv in June to take up his first managerial role.

It has been a successful start to the campaign for Keane and his assistant Delap as four wins and a draw from their opening five games have moved Maccabi Tel Aviv top of the Israeli Premier League. They are also competing in this year’s Europa Conference League, situated in Group B alongside Breidablik, Gent and Zorya Luhansk.

All matches in the Israeli Premier League are currently postponed indefinitely in light of the Hamas attacks.

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