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Terrorist ? What’s that ?

with 4 comments

As mentioned in the previous post, the Zidane send-off has been the big talking point rather than the actual football played during yesterday’s World Cup final. Naturally, the question on everyone’s mind is what Materazzi did or say to provoke Zidane into such an action, since, in spite of Zidane’s record of similar indiscretions earlier (headbutting a player in a Champions League match and stomping on a Saudi player in a previous world Cup match), he is usually pretty calm and composed on the field.

Officially, Zidane has only hinted that Materazzi said something pretty abusive and promised to reveal it in a matter of days. But rumor mills have been on the overdrive, suggesting that Materazzi either said something about Zidane’s mother or called him a ‘dirty terrorist’ – a not so subtle jibe at Zidane’s ethnicity.

The Paris-based anti-racism advocacy group SOS-Racism issued a statement Monday quoting "several very well informed sources from the world of football" as saying Materazzi called Zidane a "dirty terrorist." It demanded that FIFA, soccer’s world governing body, investigate and take any appropriate action.

This accusation is pretty serious, especially in a period when FIFA is trying hard to keep racism out of football (anti-racism statements have been read out by team captains and banners displayed before each match of this World Cup). So it is no surprise to see Materazzi coming out with a statement denying the ‘terrorist’ comment. However, that statement itself sounds kind of funny to me:

"It is absolutely not true, I did not call him a terrorist. I’m ignorant. I don’t even know what the word means," the Italian news agency Ansa quoted Materazzi as saying after the Italian team returned to Rome.

Come again ? Unless something has been lost in translation – this is quite an amazing thing to say in this day and age. Where has Materazzi been living for the last few years ? Has he been so engrossed in playing football that he doesn’t know anything about terrorists and terrorism ? I am sure no body is going to believe that ! The statement also sounds like the raised hand and innocent look routine football players indulge in after committing a foul.

So the question remains – what did he say ? Note that Materrazi says he did not call Zidane ‘a terrorist’ – that’s like admitting he did say something. I guess we shall have to wait to hear from Zidane himself.

UPDATE: Don’t know how reliable this is, but according to The Daily Mail, the ‘t’ word was used – but it seems – in a much worse manner. (via)

First Marco Matterazzi called the French star the Italian equivalent of ‘n*****’, and then insulted both his mother and his Muslim background by saying he is the ‘son of a terrorist whore.

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Written by BongoP'o'ndit

July 10, 2006 at 12:39 pm

Posted in Soccer, Sports, World Cup

4 Responses

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  1. Reading “What Materazzi might have said to Zidane” on Digg is hilarious! But I still don’t think that Zidane is justified in behaving the way he did given the stakes of the game. He may have lost it for France right then (team morale issues and all)

    Patrix

    July 10, 2006 at 7:09 pm

  2. Patrix: I am not saying that Zidane was justified in doing that. But I guess he is human and there are limits….he must be feeling like shit for that one moment of madness.

    Anyway, I wanted to highlight how Materazzi’s rather defensive comments are quite hilarious.

    I also believe that if racist taunts were used, FIFA should investigate the matter further.

    BongoP'o'ndit

    July 10, 2006 at 9:05 pm

  3. Bongo,

    With you! FIFA does nothing about racism except unfurl flags and make stupid speeches.

    That freaking claim is so hilarious! He has not heard of the word called terrorist. Looks like an admission of guilt to me.

    Confused

    July 11, 2006 at 8:16 am

  4. Materazzi admits insulting Zidane

    Materazzi, the Italian defender who was head-butted by Frances star Zidane, admitted to insulting Zidane.

    Media UnCut

    July 11, 2006 at 1:15 pm


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