Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Zidane allegedly called “son of terrorist whore”

Good lord, the news wires are spinning with the latest regarding Zizou, Zinedine Zidane’s nickname for those of you who don’t know much about football, and the headbutt incident with Italy’s Marco Matterazi during the final World Cup 2006 match. Although Zizou himself has not spoken about it publicly, a few lip readers have analyzed the tapes.

They all concur that Matterazi said something offensive to Zizou. (see the links at the end) The lip readers have come in with a range of things that might have been said, but The Times of London hired Jessica Rees, who is a forensic lip reader of some note, to weigh in on what was said. "After an exhaustive study of the match video, and with the help of an Italian translator, Rees claimed that Materazzi called Zidane “the son of a terrorist whore” before adding “so just f*** off” for good measure, supporting the natural assumption that the Frenchman must have been grievously insulted" the Times said. In addition, lip readers hired by The Daily Mail, The Guardian, and Brazilian media have all concurred.

It was past midnight here in Seoul when the news came out, and I was just exhausted. I was greatly disturbed by hearing this, but just couldn’t stay up to write about it. However, eight hours later I’m rested, completely annoyed and typing away.

Damn you Matterazi! Weren’t you paying any attention to the No to Racism campaign that was going on during this 2006 World Cup? Now it’s interesting because most fans and pundits believe that there is no way Zizou would headbutt someone without having a damn good reason, and I completely agree, but Matterazi has his supporters weighing in on this.

Unfortunately for Materazzi, the most quoted seems to be Giuseppe Materazzi, who in addition to being a former football coach and team manager is Matterazi's father! We all know that parents have not one inch of bias when it comes to their children. Yeah, right. I’m sure as I type there are parents all over the world right now defending the bad behavior of their bratty demon spawn. Giuseppe, we appreciate the effort and you’re doing what any father would do, but why would a world renown footballer headbutt someone without a damn good reason in the World Cup final when everyone knows that would get him a red card?

Zizou might be passionate and he does have a history of loosing it on the pitch, but I’m going to also take a risk and make an assumption that he’s just not that stupid to do something in 2006 that he got in trouble for in 1998 and when he was with Juventus. I just can’t buy that poor Marco was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Your dear boy did something on the pitch to provoke him.

And speaking of that dear boy, what has Marco Matterazi had to say about this? First, let me say that his story is changing, but now this is the most common quote. “I did insult him, it’s true,” Materazzi said in Tuesday’s Gazzetta dello Sport. “But I categorically did not call him a terrorist. I’m not cultured and I don’t even know what an Islamic terrorist is.” He’s denying that he knows what “terrorist” means. Post the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Towers, post the 3/11 Madrid train bombs, post the 7/7 London Tube bombings you’re trying to tell the world that you have no clue what “terrorist” means? I don’t believe it. This goes further than not being cultured. If you don’t know what it means then you’re an idiot, and, if you do, you’re just a damn liar. Plus, Matterazi has an even more notorious history than Zizou when it comes to violence on the pitch. (Here is a YouTube clip showing Matterazi stirring stuff up in another game).

FIFA is now investigating both Zizou and Matterazi.

I have a hard time buying what Matterazi is selling. Matterazi knowing full well Zizou’s past history in 1998 and while he was with Juventus, and we, the football watching public, knowing that Matterazi isn’t shy about insulting or assaulting someone on or off the pitch leads to someone in this not telling the truth. As Zizou has said nothing and Matterazi has continuously done all the talking, I have to guess he’s got to do something to distract us from what happened on the pitch.

Considering that FIFA did put genuine effort behind trying to teach tolerance through the No to Racism campaign, if it comes out that Matterazi did subject Zizou to a racial insult I hope they punish him to the full extent possible as his alleged behavior flies in the face of the racial tolerance FIFA was trying to promote. It will be interesting to see what Zizou says about it in a few days.

Unfortunately, as Matterazi now has a World Cup victory under his belt, I doubt he cares very much about what any of us think.

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Read My Lips: A World Cup Mystery Unfolds
Lip-reader: Zizou called 'son of a terrorist whore'
What riled Zidane? Lip-readers have their say

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