|File picture shows Italy's Marco Materazzi as
he falls on the pitch after being head-butted by France's Zinedine
Zidane (R) during their World Cup 2006 final soccer match in Berlin
July 9, 2006. [Reuters]|
France legend Zinedine Zidane on Thursday was handed a fine and a nominal three-match ban for his
World Cup final head-butt on
Italy defender Marco Materazzi, who himself has been suspended for two
games and fined for provoking the incident.
Zidane's ban is made academic since he subsequently quit soccer, but
the 34-year-old instead will spend three days working with world governing
He was fined 7,500 Swiss francs ($6,000) while Materazzi must pay 5,000
Swiss francs ($4,000) for the incident, which happened during
extra time of the final, with
the game poised at 1-1.
Italy, which had been under pressure before Zidane was sent off, went
on to win 5-3 on penalties.
The ruling means Materazzi will miss Italy's trip to Paris for its Euro
2008 qualifier against the French on September 6, as well as its match
against Lithuania in Naples four days earlier.
FIFA confirmed the Italian defender's comments to Zidane had not been
of a racist nature.
World soccer's organizing body also confirmed Zidane would keep
his Golden Ball award as the
tournament's best player.
Zidane's sending off hit the French at
a time when they appeared to be getting on top and
also deprived them of their best penalty taker.
Both players have a history of disciplinary troubles, and the sending
off was the 14th of Zidane's career and his second in a World Cup - he
picked up a two-match ban for stamping on a Saudi Arabian opponent in the
1998 tournament won by France.
Materazzi widely is remembered in England for the three red cards he
picked up in just 32 appearances for Everton.
apologized but felt no regret