So, what did they say?

What did happen?

Back to the World Cup final and that incident:

Materazzi apparently called Zidane a Dirty Terrorist. Or, said he'd rather have the shirt off his wife's back (instead of Zidane's jersey). Or, said his mother was a dirty whore. Or, a combination thereof.

Materazzi says he didn't call Zidane an Islamic Terrorist because (oh, what a reason!) he's not "cultured" enough. He didn't insult Zizou's mum either since for him, a Mother's "sacred".

Zizou's teammates, agent, manager and assorted hangers on including the local Hot Dog guy outside my apartment building, say he was "provoked" and that he would never otherwise have done such a thing.*

Materazzi says he did say something provocative to Zidane but doesn't specify what.

What does this mean? Added to the nearly 1000 comments in the article I previously posted on, many of whom appear to take it for granted that some of Materazzi's comments were "racist" or of the "You filthy terrorist" variety (and, yet, note above that neither of the participants have clarified what was actually said), it seems that no one's quite sure what was said. All we saw was some (usual) jersey-tugging and then that headbutt from Zidane.

The way the incident is being discussed in the media is not so much about what occurred (Zidane headbutting Materazzi and getting sent off) but about why he did it (insults, "Algerian" roots, being called a "terrorist"). But, does it really matter why he did it as much as what happened during and after he did it? The Italians winning the Cup (and especially Trezeguet's pretty awful spot kick) has received much less attention as we all focus on what was (and was not) said.

The way the incident is being talked about is even more complicated because neither of the main players have told us what they did say. Materazzi denied saying certain things but that was it. Zidane has remained silent. I guess we have to wait and see (and hope Zizou's ghostwriter is preparing a good speech/book chapter).

* He did trample on that Saudi Arab guy in the 1998 World Cup and that was also put down to "racist taunts" by the player. This was unconfirmed and, since it was a group stage match, no one cared much then.


At 7/13/2006 10:23 AM, Anonymous serena said...

interesting that this is the talk of the cup...weren't they going for greater unity and peace-loving sentiments this year?

it would seem that those great aspirations have failed...LOL

At 7/13/2006 2:11 PM, Blogger Priya said...

I am still miffed at Zidane who "as a man" couldn't let this go. Sheesh, you big dumb git! If he'd let it go (and then later talked/complained of it), France'd have had a better chance of winning. Not once did he apologise to his teammates/country.

At 7/13/2006 4:35 PM, Anonymous serena said...

i hear you! I told cris that was not the way for him to end his career or the team's stint in the cup...just disappointing and ridiculous


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