Materazzi – Don’t make excuses for Zidane

July 18 – According to AFP Materazzi said Lilian Thuram should not make excuses for Zinedine Zidane’s headbutt after the French defender described Italy’s Materazzi as "an illness that should not exist."

France captain Zidane was sent off near the end of extra-time in the World Cup final, which Italy eventually won on penalties, following a 1-1 draw in Berlin on July 9.

Materazzi told the Italian news agency, ANSA that, "Thuram would have done better to point out that it was not the first time that Zidane has made certain errors, rather than make excuses for him at any price," presumably referring to the 12 red cards Zidane has received during his career.

Thuram had told Tuesday’s edition of Les Inrockuptibles weekly publication that "a player like Materazzi is an illness which should not exist.

"Materazzi has given a negative image of football and he does not need this type of attitude because he is really a very good player. Football is a game where the rules need to be observed.

"What’s the point of winning if you have cheated? It means nothing."

Thuram did however add that Zidane’s headbutt into the chest of Materazzi was unfortunate.

Materazzi, known for his rugged play, added: "In the past, I have also been the first to make errors and there’s no point defending someone just for the principle."

Zidane has since explained the incident by saying Materazzi insulted his mother and sister. The Italian however denied he insulted Zidane’s mother.

The disciplinary commission of the sport’s world governing body FIFA has opened an inquiry into the incident with the French captain being heard on July 20 in Zurich.