Materazzi wins damages
Marco Materazzi gets apology from paper over Zinedine Zidane insult allegations.
Last Modified: 03 Nov 2008 18:21 GMT

More than two years on, the Zidane headbutt saga refuses to die [AFP]
Italy defender Marco Materazzi has won libel damages from a British tabloid over reports that he racially abused Zinedine Zidane before the Frenchman was sent off in the World Cup final for headbutting him.

Although the amount of damages was not disclosed, the Inter Milan star successfully sued the Daily Mail for wrongly reporting that Materazzi had called Zidane "the son of a terrorist whore" before the French star butted the Italian's chest in extra time.

Zidane was sent off and Italy went on to win the title in a penalty shootout after a 1-1 draw in Berlin's Olympic Stadium in Germany.


Materazzi's lawyer for the case, Jane Phillips, told the judge that, in its coverage of the July 2006 World Cup final, the newspaper published a series of items accompanied by photos, including one of Materazzi being headbutted by Zidane, captioned "Revealed: the insult that made Zidane see red".

Phillips said the articles stated quite wrongly that Materazzi, who scored Italy's goal in the final, had used "vile, racist abuse" during the match.

From July to December that year, she said, it also published articles on its website which included similar defamatory material.

Phillips told the judge the newspaper accepted that all of the allegations were wholly untrue and that there was no question of Materazzi having said anything of a racist nature to Zidane to goad him.

Jonathan Price, lawyer for the Daily Mail owners, said that it offered its apologies for the distress and embarrassment caused, and had agreed to pay Materazzi substantial damages and his costs.

Materazzi did not appear at the hearing on Monday.

Topics in this article
Featured on Al Jazeera
UNHCR says hundreds of people trapped in Yaloke town risk death if they are not evacuated to safety urgently.
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Long-standing dispute over Christian use of the word 'Allah' raises concerns about a very un-Merry Christmas.
The threat posed by ISIL has prompted thousands of young Kurds to join the PKK.
Baja California - with its own grim history of disappeared people - finds a voice in the fight against violence.
Russian feminist rockers fight system holding 700,000 - the world's largest per capita prison population after the US.
Weeks of growing protests against Muslims continue in Dresden with 15,000 hitting the streets last Monday.