Football: Materazzi accepts apology from British newspaper
Italy's World Cup-winning defender Marco Materazzi on Monday accepted an apology and damages from a British newspaper.
LONDON, April 8, 2008 (AFP) - Italy's World Cup-winning defender Marco
Materazzi on Monday accepted an apology and damages from a British newspaper
over claims he used racist abuse to goad Zinedine Zidane into headbutting him.
The Inter Milan centre-back, who scored Italy's equaliser and one of the
crucial match-winning penalties in the shoot-out at the 2006 World Cup final,
attended the hearing at London's High Court for the settlement of his libel
action against Express Newspapers over articles in the Daily Star tabloid.
His lawyer, Jane Phillips, said the newspaper accepted that the allegations
were "wholly untrue" and apologised for any distress and embarrassment caused.
Outside court, Materazzi, 34, said: "I really appreciate the apology
published in the Daily Star. The truth is now coming out - finally.
"I am looking forward to a quick and positive conclusion to my claims
against the other newspapers who published lies about me. Only then will I be
His lawyers said the newspaper would also pay Materazzi substantial damages
and his legal costs.
France captain Zidane was sent off after felling Materazzi with a headbutt
during the final in Berlin.
The Italian recently admitted he regretted abusing Zidane, which led to the
flare-up, but maintains he described Zidane's sister as a "whore" and did not
use a racist term.