Zidane’s Head Butt Punishment

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(Zidane, right, will do community work with Fifa)

Zinedine Zidane has been banned for three games and fined £3,260 for head-butting Italy's Marco Materazzi during the World Cup final.

Following an investigation by world governing body Fifa, Materazzi was suspended for two games and fined £2,170 for provoking Zidane. A Fifa statement said: "Both players stressed Materazzi's comments had been defamatory but not of a racist nature."

Zidane's ban is academic as he retired from football after the finals.
However the 34-year-old will instead work with football's world governing body Fifa for three days. Fifa added: "Zinedine Zidane has agreed to do community service work with children and youngsters.

"During the course of their hearings both players also apologized to Fifa for their inappropriate behavior and expressed their regret at the incident."
Zidane spent 90 minutes at a private hearing on Thursday, while Materazzi appeared before the Fifa panel on 14 July.
 
 Playing in the last game of his career, Zidane snapped during extra time of the World Cup final. The Frenchman later claimed Materazzi had insulted his mother and his sister. However, Materazzi maintained his comments were not "racist, religious, or political" and he added: "I also said nothing about his mother."
Despite the incident, Zidane went on to win the Golden Ball for the tournament's best player and despite suggestions to the contrary, Fifa has confirmed the Frenchman will be allowed to keep the award.
 
"It wasn't even discussed at the meeting," said Fifa spokesman Andreas Herren.
Materazzi's suspension will keep him out of Italy's opening two Euro 2008 qualifiers against Lithuania on 2 September and France on 6 September.
Paolo Maldini, captain of AC Milan and former captain of Italy's national team criticized Fifa's suspension of Materazzi.

"It's scandalous to suspend a player for having said something. "It's the first time it's been done and it's only because Materazzi is Italian and because they wanted to justify the action of Zidane but who was in the wrong." But French Football Federation president Jean-Pierre Escalettes, supported Fifa's verdict.
"It is intelligent, measured and reasonable," said Escalettes. "It shows knowledge of the world of football. The provoker of the incident has been punished."



 


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