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FOOTBALL - JUSTICE

Materazzi accepts damages from British tabloid

Text by: AFP
2 min

Italian footballer Marco Materazzi has accepted damages from a second British tabloid, the Daily Mail, over claims he used racist abuse to provoke France's Zinedine Zidane into infamously headbutting him during the final of the 2006 World Cup.

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Italy defender Marco Materazzi accepted damages from a British newspaper on Monday over claims he used racist abuse to goad France's Zinedine Zidane into headbutting him during the 2006 World Cup final.

Materazzi's lawyer Jane Phillips told London's High Court that in its coverage of the match, the midmarket Daily Mail tabloid published a series of photographs including one of Materazzi being head-butted by Zidane, captioned "Revealed: the insult that made Zidane see red".

She said the articles wrongly stated that Materazzi had used racist abuse and called Zidane, whose parents are Algerian, "the son of a terrorist whore".

The newspaper published similar accusations on its website from July to December that year.

The amount paid out in damages was not revealed.

Phillips said the newspaper accepted that all of the allegations were completely untrue and that there was no question of Materazzi having used racist comments to provoke Zidane.

Jonathan Price, for the Daily Mail's owners Associated Newspapers, said the newspaper offered its apologies for the distress and embarrassment caused, and had agreed to pay Materazzi substantial damages and his costs.

Zidane was sent off for the headbutt and Italy went on to win the World Cup with Materazzi scoring one of the decisive spot kicks in the penalty shootout.

It is the second time that Materazzi, who plays for Inter Milan, has accepted damages from a British newspaper over its reporting of the Zidane incident. He received a payoff from the Daily Star tabloid in April.

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