France forgives Zidane for head-butt

Updated: 25 February 2007 10:35 IST

Most French forgive soccer idol Zinedine Zidane for his savage head-butt against Italy's Marco Materazzi in the World Cup final.

France forgives Zidane for head-butt

Paris:

Most French forgive soccer idol Zinedine Zidane for his savage head-butt against Italy's Marco Materazzi in the World Cup final, according to a poll published on Tuesday. Even if the rest of the sporting world remains appalled by the move, the poll shows that in France, 61 per cent forgive the now-retired team captain for the head-butt, which earned him an expulsion in the final minutes of Sunday's game and marked a shocking end to his illustrious career. France lost 5-3 in penalty kicks. More than 50 per cent of the 802 respondents said they understood the star's reaction, according to the poll conduced by telephone by CSA polling agency published in today's Le Parisien newspaper. No margin of error was given. Zidane has yet to explain his actions, though some observers have speculated Materazzi taunted him with a racist remark. Zidane's agent said he would explain himself in the coming days. The French overwhelmingly agreed with FIFA, which awarded Zidane the Golden Ball as the tournament's best player despite the brutal parting move. Seventy-eight per cent of respondents said Zidane, who became a national hero for leading France to its only World Cup victory in 1998, on its home turf, deserved the award. More than 60 per cent of those polled said they were satisfied with the national team's performance, in spite of Sunday's defeat. (AP)

Topics : Football
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