Tuesday, July 11, 2006


Ok, I know there are more important things going on in the world at the moment, but I thought I should say something about that Zidane incident, since I'd been vocally supporting France since - ooooohhh, July 5th.

First of all, it wasn't a 'headbutt'. A headbutt is a particularly nasty kind of assault when you smack your forehead into someone else's head or nose. Zidane launched his skull into Matarazzi's chest. If Zidane had wanted to hurt Matarazzi badly he'd have done it differently - it wasn't a vicious assault.

Second, I think Matarazzi probably deserved it. It would have been better, of course, for Zidane and for France if Zidane had kept his cool. I don't think that footballers should go around assaulting each other. However, if any of the various 'lip readers' quoted in the newspapers today are correct, I think Zidane's actions were at least understandable.

The BBC has suggested that Matarazzi insulted Zidane's (ill) mother and family and/or called him the 'son of a terrorist whore'. According to the Guardian, the 'Paris-based anti-racism group, SOS-Racism... said that "several very well informed sources" had suggested Zidane was called a "dirty terrorist".'

All very unpleasant.

With any luck, Materazzi will be disciplined for racist abuse by FIFA.

As for the game, itself, I thought France were the better team and deserved to win. I thought it was a shame that Henry and Ribery came off so early. It was a big shame, also, that France lost the penalty shoot out because of sheer bad luck - Trezeguet's missed penalty wasn't a bad one.

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