A 43-year-old man has received a three-year football banning order for headbutting TV pundit Roy Keane during a match. Scott Law, 43, was convicted of common assault after the incident with Keane on September 3 last year.

The altercation occurred as Keane and fellow Sky Sports pundit Micah Richards were heading to provide post-match analysis following Arsenal’s 3-1 victory over Manchester United, according to the trial at Highbury Corner Magistrates Court. Law, from Waltham Abbey, Essex, headbutted Keane through doors at the Emirates Stadium.

Law’s defense argued that CCTV footage showed Keane elbowing Law in the face. However, Richards, a former Manchester City defender, testified that he “grappled” with Law after witnessing the headbutt, expressing disbelief and feeling sympathy for Keane, whom he described as a friend. Richards denied the defense’s accusations that he falsely claimed to see the headbutt due to loyalty to Keane.

Law, who had been sitting near the Sky Sports studio during the match, described Keane as “very animated” and “angry” throughout the game. He alleged that Keane was banging on the studio window and challenging him to meet outside. Law claimed that when he encountered Keane inside the stadium, Keane “collided into him.” Prosecutor Simon Jones KC questioned Law’s version of events, pointing out inconsistencies with his initial police statement.

District Judge Angus Hamilton concluded that Law had been “untruthful about what happened” and found no reason for Keane to have singled him out. The judge noted that Keane appeared “calm and not agitated” when he left the studio and dismissed the notion that Keane’s reputation as a “hard man of football” influenced the incident. Law was ordered to complete 80 hours of unpaid work and pay legal costs of £650 plus a victim surcharge of £114.

Kevin Christie, Crown Prosecution Service London North football lead prosecutor, condemned the violence, emphasizing the need for safety at football matches. Law’s defense lawyer, Charles Sherrard KC, announced plans to appeal the conviction, criticizing the trial’s conduct and the exclusion of key footage.