Referee says he didn't hesitate to expel Zidane

Updated: 25 February 2007 10:35 IST

Argentina referee Horacio Elizondo said on Thursday he had no hesitation about red expelling French midfielder Zinedine Zidane.

Buenos Aires:

Argentina referee Horacio Elizondo said on Thursday he had no hesitation about red expelling French midfielder Zinedine Zidane from the World Cup final for driving his head into the chest of Italian defender Marco Materazzi. Elizondo, speaking to local reporters after his return from Germany, said he didn't know what words might have been exchanged between Materazzi and Zidane prior to the incident. "I didn't hear anything,'' the referee said. "But if they did say anything, surely that could be detected on video. Nonetheless that's no justification for the reaction by the player (Zidane).'' Zidane was sent off with 10 minutes remaining in extra time with the score 1-1. Italy went on to win its fourth World Cup title on penalties, and Zidane was announced as the Golden Ball winner as the best player of the tournament on Monday. Elizondo was widely praised afterward for his control of the match. When asked about the hard decisions, he concluded: "One has to always be ready and not being influenced'' by any side. (AP)

Topics : Football
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