Update: Zidane has spoken about the incident. Read Zidane’s comments on the headbutt incident.
This is one of those things where you really, really should let go. If Zidane is going to tell us himself, that’s great, but if he isn’t, speculation won’t help anyone (apart from sell a few extra copies of your rag, I suppose).
Materazzi though, has spoken and denied a few of the accusations (without saying exactly what it was).
“It was the kind of insult you will hear dozens of times and just slips out of the ground.”
“I didn’t call Zidane a terrorist and certainly didn’t mention his mother.”
“Zidane looked at me with super arrogance… it’s true I shot back with an insult.”
“I am ignorant, I don’t even know what an Islamic terrorist is; my only terrorist is her,” he said pointing to his 10-month-old daughter.
“I did not bring up Zidane’s mother; for me a mother is sacred.”
“I held his shirt, for only a few seconds.”
“He turned towards me and scoffed at me, looking at me with super arrogance, up and down.”
“He said ‘if you really want my shirt, you can have it later.'”
“It’s true, I shot back with an insult.”
What the BBC says
BBC Radio Five Live asked for help from a deaf lip reader, Jessica Rees, who read the words phonetically to an Italian translator.
She deciphered the insult as being “you’re the son of a terrorist whore” – a translation also carried by many national newspapers in Britain on Tuesday.
The BBC’s Ten O’Clock News also called in experts to study the television footage of the incident and determined the following:
Materazzi’s first word to Zidane was “no” before he then told him to “calm down”.
He then accused him of being a “liar” and wished “an ugly death to you and your family” on the day the Frenchman’s mother had been taken to hospital ill. This was followed by “Go f*** yourself”.
Zidane’s agent, Alain Migliaccio, has hinted that Zidane will soon reveal exactly what was said by Materazzi.
Apparently, people are asking for retrospective action if it can be proved that Materazzi racially abused Zidane. That’s fine and dandy, but try to stamp out cheating first using video analysis and retrospectively punishing players, please.
Zidane – Materazzi Rumours
So, in the interest of compiling all the ridiculous rumours as to what Materazzi actually said, here’s what we have so far:
1. According to an Italian lip-reader (courtesy of the BBC), Materazzi said: “I wish an ugly death to you and all your family.” He then told Zidane to “go fuck yourself“.
2. A Paris-based anti-racism group, SOS-Racism, earlier said that “several very well informed sources” had suggested Zidane was called a “dirty terrorist“.
3. After Materazzi grabbed Zidane’s shirt, it is alleged that Zidane responded by sarcastically telling Materazzi that he could have his shirt as a souvenir at the end of the match. The Italian is alleged to have responded by saying that Zidane could keep it for his sister and then made an extremely derogatory comment about her…that version is backed up by lip-readers from the Brazilian TV channel Globo. They claim Materazzi called her a “prostitute”.
4. Italians say Zidane flipped simply because Materazzi told him that he should go play for Inter.
Note that some people claim that Materazzi twisted Zidane’s nipple when he was holding him from behind; if that is true then the sister jibe that’s mentioned above could have been actually something different, in which case few people would blame Zidane for the headbutt….but goddammit, this is the final – you want to take revenge do it after you’ve won the World Cup (or lost it). Why ruin everything for your country and viewers around the world (even as an Italian fan I would have been happy to see Zidane score a late winner) by lashing out 10 minutes before extra time ended?