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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jul 14, 2006

Materazzi gives evidence to FIFA over Zidane

ZURICH, July 14 (Reuters) - Marco Materazzi on Friday gave FIFA his version of the incident that saw French captain Zinedine Zidane sent off for a head butt on the Italy defender in the World Cup final last weekend.

Materazzi, who helped Italy win Sunday's final in Berlin on penalties, attended a hastily rearranged morning hearing of FIFA's disciplinary committee at the soccer world body's Zurich hilltop headquarters.

The hearing was hastily convened so the well-dressed Materazzi, who left near midday without speaking to a large crowd of journalists and photographers, did not have to interrupt a holiday next week.

FIFA spokesman Andreas Herren said FIFA were, however, sticking with their original date of July 20 for an announcement of the committee's findings.

Herren did not comment on the hearing or what sanction, if any, Materazzi might face.

FIFA had begun proceedings against Materazzi on Thursday, saying that both he and Zidane had been summoned to appear before the disciplinary committee next Thursday.

They had said Zidane would be given the right to be heard by means of a written statement, which had to be submitted by July 18. Materazzi would then be sent a copy of the statement to allow him to respond.

However, FIFA have now allowed Materazzi to give his side of the story on Friday.

Zidane was sent off eight minutes from the end of extra time after the controversial incident. He told French television on Wednesday night he had been repeatedly insulted by Materazzi.

The match was Zidane's farewell to football, having announced he was retiring after the tournament.

Zidane opened the scoring for France with a penalty before Materazzi equalised. The score remained 1-1 to the end of extra time and Italy won 5-3 on penalties.