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Thuram faults Zidane, Materazzi
France defender Lilian Thuram disagreed with Zidane's head-butt in the World Cup final and said the Italy player who provoked him was hurting soccer.
Paris:France defender Lilian Thuram disagreed with Zinedine Zidane's head-butt in the World Cup final and said the Italy player who provoked him was hurting soccer. Thuram said in an interview being published on Tuesday by the weekly Les Inrockuptibles that he understood Zidane's reaction to Marco Materazzi for insulting his family but that the timing was wrong. Zidane, France's captain, rammed Materazzi in extra time and was sent off. France lost 5-3 on penalties. Thuram said he and Zidane, who planned to retire after the final, spoke briefly after the game. "Materazzi insulted his family. I understand that Zidane reacted. But not on the field, not on the field," Thuram said. "He made a mistake and he knows it. To be clear, I don't think it affected the result. But, well, Zidane knows that he was tricked." Players like Materazzi hurt the game, Thuram was quoted as saying. "This type of player is a sickness. It shouldn't exist... Materazzi gives a negative image to soccer," Thuram said. Materazzi has admitted insulting Zidane, but denied he verbally attacked his mother. FIFA is conducting an investigation. Materazzi appeared before a disciplinary committee last Friday, and Zidane is scheduled to appear on Thursday. Zidane apologised to mainly children on French TV last week, and said he did not regret the incident because Materazzi insulted his mother and sister. (AP)
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