British Newspaper Apologizes to Materazzi over Report of Zidane Head-Butting Incident

April 8, 2008

Italy defender Marco Materazzi accepted an apology and undisclosed damages from a British newspaper to settle a libel suit stemming from the World Cup final.

The Daily Star tabloid claimed that Materazzi goaded France captain Zinedine Zidane with racist abuse. Zidane was ejected after head-butting Materazzi and Italy won the final on penalty kicks.

Materazzi accepted a public apology from the newspaper during a court hearing.

His lawyer, Jane Phillips, said the newspaper accepted that the allegations of racist abuse were “wholly untrue.”

“I really appreciate the apology published in the Daily Star,” Materazzi said.

“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 truly satisfied.”

The Daily Star also agreed to pay the player’s legal costs, said Steven Heffer, another lawyer representing Materazzi.

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