Thursday, July 20, 2006

Zidane's head butt not the result of racism

FIFA has handed down their penalties for the head butt that overshadowed the finals. Former France captain Zinedine Zidane has been banned for three international matches and fined about $6000. Italy defender Marco Materazzi got a two-match ban and roughly a $3700 fine.

For Zidane, the three game ban means little as he has retired. However, he has "pledge to do three days of community service work with children and youngsters as part of FIFA's humanitarian activities."

The big news is that both players stressed that Materazzi's comments were NOT racist in nature, but no comment was made on what exactly was said.

Since Materazzi's words were not racist in nature, I am surprised to see him get such a heavy penalty. He admitted to defamatory comments, but I fine it hard to believe that most players on the pitch are not guilty of such things. Since no one will say what was said, it's hard to guess what line he crossed.

'During the course of their hearings both players also apologized to FIFA for their inappropriate behaviour and expressed their regret at the incident.'

Zidane will not be stripped of his golden ball award for being the best player at the Cup.

Thus ends the event that, sadly, will define World Cup 2006 for years to come.

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