FIFA to investigate Zidane sending off
World soccer's governing body said they will open a disciplinary investigation into Zidane's conduct in the WC final, when he was sent off for head-butting Materazzi.india Updated: Jul 11, 2006 19:23 IST
FIFA will open a disciplinary investigation into Zinedine Zidane's conduct in the World Cup final, when he was sent off for head-butting Italy's Marco Materazzi.
World soccer's governing body said on Tuesday the incident had been spotted by the fourth official without using a monitor, who then alerted referee Horacio Elizondo through their communications system.
"FIFA will open a disciplinary investigation into Zidane's conduct to enable it to clarify the circumstances surrounding the incident as exactly as possible," FIFA said in a statement.
Zidane and Materazzi exchanged words after Italy broke up a French attack in extra-time of Sunday's final in Berlin. Seconds later, Zidane lowered his head and rammed Materazzi in the chest, knocking him to the ground.
Zidane was sent off, reducing France to 10 men. Italy won the game in a penalty shootout.
Investigations are regular practice whenever a red card is shown in an international match to determine how the player, and any others who may be involved, should be punished, FIFA said.
The governing body declined to comment on whether Materazzi's conduct was also being investigated, or whether it was trying to find out if the Italian player had provoked Zidane.
Materazzi admitted he insulted Zidane before the France captain head-butted him, but denied calling him a 'terrorist.'
"I did insult him, it's true," Materazzi said. "But I categorically did not call him a terrorist. I'm not cultured and I don't even know what an Islamic terrorist is."
The 32-year-old Inter Milan player did not elaborate exactly on what he said to Zidane.
"It was one of those insults you're told tens of times and that always fly around the pitch," he said.
Referring to Zidane being voted player of the tournament, FIFA said it was impossible to tell how many of the votes had been cast before, during or after the match.
More than 700 journalists voted in the poll, but ballot boxes remained open until after the end of the final. The votes were not counted until the end of polling.