French fans stunned after loss

Zinedine Zidane's moment of madness has stunned French fans in Paris who packed into a crowded Champs-Elysees boulevard to watch their team lose the 2006 World Cup final to Italy on penalties.

    Stunned: French supporters in Paris after the World Cup final

    The fans' emotions ranged from anger to despair, sorrow to disbelief.

    "I just cannot understand what was going through Zidane's head, it just doesn't make any sense," said one fan, Cyrille Bonet referring to Zidane's off the ball head-butt on Italian defender Marco Materazzi.

    "Italy didn't deserve it but it's typical of the Italians, they played terribly for the whole match and then they win it on penalties," Cyrille's brother Emmanuel, added.

    Eight years ago it was a different story in the streets and boulevards of the French capital as tonight's scenes of misery contrast greatly to those of 1998 when France defeated Brazil in the World Cup final.

    Influential captain Zidane was having a reasonably good match in his final international appearance, having scored the opening goal from the penalty spot, only to ruin his farewell with an inexplicable action.

    French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy told press that police were "ready" for any crowd violence during or after the match, with 12,000 police and military personnel standing by across the country.

    Security is high following riots in France last November, and 500 arrests following violent celebrations after France's 1-0 semi-final victory over Portugal earlier in the week.

    SOURCE: Aljazeera + Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    Heron Gate mass eviction: 'We never expected this in Canada'

    Hundreds face mass eviction in Canada's capital

    About 150 homes in one of Ottawa's most diverse and affordable communities are expected to be torn down in coming months

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    In 1959, a year before Nigeria's independence, a 23-year-old student helped colour the country's identity.