French football skipper Zinedine Zidane is to give his version of the notorious World Cup final headbutt in an appearance on
television later on Wednesday.
In a live interview to be broadcast at 8.00 pm (1800 GMT), the captain is expected to explain the nature of the slur hurled at him before Sunday's incident by Italian player Marco Materazzi.
Materazzi, who was knocked to the ground by the extra-time butt to the chest, has acknowledged that he insulted Zidane -- but denied that he called him a terrorist or impugned his mother.
"It was an insult of the kind you will hear dozens of times and that just slips out on the ground," Materazzi said.
However lip-readers consulted by British newspapers concluded that Materazzi called Zidane the "son of a terrorist whore."
The international football federation FIFA has launched an investigation into the incident, which resulted in Zidane's sending-off shortly before France's 5-3 defeat on penalties.
FIFA president Sepp Blatter warned Wednesday that he could strip Zidane of his World Cup best player title -- awarded after Sunday's final -- if the disciplinary committee finds against him.
He also faces suspension from future matches but this will have little import as he had already announced his retirement from all professional football.
Despite feverish speculation over the reasons for his gesture, France's favourite footballing hero has received overwhelming support from the public -- with 61 percent telling a national newspaper that they forgive him and 52 percent that they understand his behaviour.
Top politicians have also indicated that the incident must not be allowed to overshadow Zidane's status as role-model and world-class athlete -- with president Jacques Chirac hailing him as a "virtuoso, a genius of world football."