I'm sorry but no regrets - Zidane
Zinedine Zidane has apologised for his headbutt on Italian defender Marco Materazzi in Sunday's World Cup final.
But the French legend does not regret his actions, alleging on television that Materazzi provoked him by insulting both his mother and sister.
"It was inexcusable. I apologise," said the 34-year-old Zidane. "But I can't regret what I did because it would mean that he was right to say all that."
Materazzi responded by denying he said anything about Zidane's mother.
"I didn't mention anything about religion, politics or racism," said the Italian on Wednesday.
"Naturally, I didn't know that his mother was in hospital but I wish her all the best.
"Zidane is my hero and I have always admired him a lot."
Zidane was sent off for headbutting Materazzi in the chest in the second period of extra-time in the final in Berlin.
The Frenchman claimed he had been provoked by the Italian and appeared on French TV station Canal Plus on Wednesday to explain his actions.
"It was seen by two or three billion people on television and millions and millions of children were watching," he said.
"It was an inexcusable gesture and to them, and the people in education whose job it is to show children what they should and shouldn't do, I want to apologise."
Asked what had caused to react so violently, he said Materazzi had directed some "very hard words" at him.
"You hear them once and you try to move away. But then you hear them twice, and then a third time," said Zidane.
"I am a man and some words are harder to hear than actions. I would rather have taken a blow to the face than hear that."
Zidane, who retired from football after Sunday's final, also called for Materazzi to be punished for his part in the incident.
"We always talk about the reaction, and obviously it must be punished. But if there is no provocation, there is no need to react," said the former Real Madrid and Juventus player
Without question, this had to do with race.
I mean, this was in the World Cup final. You would either have to be the biggest asshole on the planet or have a very good reason for acting that way.
And if people didn't think he was provoked, they would be after his head. People take losing a World Cup on a mistake normally unforgivable.
The fact that he wouldn't apologize for what he did is not just over a loss of temper. Because unless it's happened to you, you'd never understand it. Somethings you recognize right away, and that reaction looked all too familiar.
As Thurgood Marshall said "My father said when a man calls you a nigger, you have some business to settle right there."
A lot of people may not see it, but I've lived through a couple of those moments and that's how you react.
posted by Steve @ 12:22:00 AM