Friday, July 21, 2006

FIFA bans Zidane and Materazzi

Fifa, the world football's governing body has taken action against Zidane and Materazzi: Zidane for using his head and Materazzi for using his mouth

Zidane has been fined £3,260 and handed a nominal three-match ban for his World Cup final extra-time head-butt on the Italy defender Marco Materazzi, who has himself been suspended for two games and fined £2,170 for provoking the incident. Zidane's ban is made academic by the fact he has now retired from football, but the 34-year-old Frenchman will instead spend three days working with Fifa.

Top class football isn't beautiful anymore. Most of the millionaire superstars and their managers have become bigger than the game itself. Corporate sponsors and big money is the driver that has driven teams to win at all costs including match fixing as we see in Italy Seria A scandal that has shocked the nation.

Materazzi has said touting is widespread in top football. It is used as a tactic to rile your opponents who will retaliate and in the process get yellow or red carded. Football is now a mind game as much as it involves the physical skills to put the ball into the net.

Zidane was the captain of the French team. He carried the burden and responsibilty to win for his nation and he buckled under the pressure, perhaps too much for him to bear even as the legend of being one of the world's best players. Those who support him also say that he has sacrificed victory for honour, when Materazzi abused his mother and sister.

Whichever way you look at this saga, it is a sad ending for a great player.

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