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Zidane: Materazzi insults my mother & sister
Latest Updated by 2006-07-13 09:41:17

Special: FIFA WORLD CUP GERMANY 2006>>>

French soccer star Zinedine Zidane apologized for head-butting an Italian opponent during the World Cup final, saying Wednesday that he was provoked by harsh insults about his mother and sister.

Zinedine Zidane is shown the red card by referee Horacio Elizondo after head butting Materazzi in the second period of extra time of the World Cup final match that ended 1-1 and saw Italy trumph in a penalty shootout. Zinade explained Wednesday in a television interview that he was provoked by harsh insults about his mother and sister.

"He (Materazzi) pronounced very tough words about my mother and my sister. I tried not to listen to him but he kept repeating them," the 34-year-old midfielder said in an interview with television channel Canal Plus.

photo: sina

"I knew it was my last game and I knew that there were only 10 minutes to play but things happened very swiftly", he said. "I am a man before anything else," he added.

Zidane did not specify exactly what Italian defender Marco Materazzi said that enraged him, but denied Materazzi called him an Islamic "terrorist", as was reported by a Paris-based anti-racism group.

The French captain reacted to the insults by ramming his head into Materazzi's chest in the second period of extra time of the match that ended 1-1 and saw Italy triumph in a penalty shoot-out.

Widely regarded as the greatest player of his generation and playing the last game of his career, Zidane was shown a red card, leaving his team-mates to finish the match without him.

FIFA decided on Tuesday to open a disciplinary investigation into the incident and Sepp Blatter, head of soccer's ruling body, hinted that Zidane could be stripped of the tournament's best player award.

Editor: Donald

By: Source: China View website
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