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English tabloid pays Materazzi damages over Zidane insult

Latest update : 2009-02-05

English tabloid The Sun agreed to pay out-of-court damages to Italian defender Marco Materazzi, according to the player's lawyer. The newspaper claimed Materazzi called Zinedine Zidane "son of a terrorist" before the French player headbutted him.

AFP - Italy footballer Marco Materazzi has won a hefty libel payout from British newspaper The Sun over claims that he called France's Zinedine Zidane "the son of a terrorist whore," his lawyer said Thursday.
Britain's biggest-selling daily, which published an apology in May 2008, has agreed an out-of-court damages settlement, the Inter Milan defender's lawyer Steven Heffer said.
Materazzi has accepted an undisclosed six-figure pound (dollar, euro) sum over claims that he used vile, racist abuse during the 2006 World Cup final at Berlin's Olympic Stadium.
The 35-year-old brought High Court libel proceedings over a series of British tabloid articles over the incident in football's biggest showpiece final.
After a verbal altercation in extra time, midfielder Zidane headbutted fellow goalscorer Materazzi and was sent off.
The match ended 1-1, and, without their captain and star player, France lost 5-3 to Italy on penalties, with Materazzi scoring one of the crucial kicks.
On its front page, The Sun, citing a lip reader, had claimed Materazzi had called Zidane, who is of Algerian descent, "the son of a terrorist whore", provoking the headbutt.
"The Sun newspaper has paid substantial damages and has now withdrawn the allegations made against Marco and accept that he did not say anything of a racist nature to Zidane," Heffer said.
"This is the third libel victory for Marco Materazzi. At the end of last year, he was successful in his libel actions against the Daily Star and the Daily Mail newspapers.
"This brings his libel actions against British newspapers to a close and Marco is obviously happy with the outcome."
The actions against the Daily Star and Daily Mail were settled with payment of damages, publication of an apology and statements read in open court.

Date created : 2009-02-05