Will Italy lose the World Cup?
There has been some talk of Italy losing the World Cup if FIFA's investigation of the Zidane-Materazzi establishes that Materazzi used racial slurs. This is of course, if FIFA decides to go to the extremes to impose disciplinary action.
Here are the rules - Amendment to Article 55 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code
...Par. 1: Anyone who publicly disparages, discriminates against or denigrates someone in a defamatory manner on account of race, colour, language, religion or ethnic origin, or perpetrates any other discriminatory and/or contemptuous act, will be subject to match suspension for at least five matches at every level. Furthermore, a stadium ban and a fine of at least CHF 20,000 will be imposed on the perpetrator. If the perpetrator is an official, the fine will be at least CHF 30,000.
If any player, association or club official or spectator perpetrates any kind of discriminatory or contemptuous act as described by Par. 1 and/or 2 of this article, three points will automatically be deducted from the team concerned...
In the case of matches without points, the team concerned, if identifiable, will be disqualified...
Very unlikely that they will take the cup away. That will cause quite some outrage. But I sure hope Materazzi is fined/suspended, if found guilty.
In Zidane's defence, if someone's on the field for 90 minutes, repeatedly heckled, physically assaulted and his family's name brought to the field, it will take a lot of determination to keep from hitting back. For a player of his stature, Zidane should have known better, but I think Materazzi got less than he deserved. Zidane should have let his clenched fist do some talking too.
Speculation on what Materazzi told Zidane:
1. BBC - "I wish an ugly death to you and all your family, go **** yourself. A high ball is "not for feccia like you". ('Feccia' is an Italian insult meaning scum or shit.)
2. Sun - "son of a terrorist whore". (Zidane's mom, Malika, had been unwell for a few days.)
3. Some others say he called Zidane's sister a prostitute.
Of course pyschologists must have their say too:
Panelist Gerard Ernault, editor of France Football magazine, suggested Zidane may have acted unconsciously as a reaction to his impending retirement. "We could ask ourselves if he refused this consecration, this crown atop his head, by making suicidal gestures as a way also to reject his exit, his retirement".
Related Tags: Soccer, Game, Sports, Italy, Portugal, Germany, France, World Cup 2006, Fake, Footwork, Foul, Red Card, Zidane, Materazzi, BBC, Sun, FIFA, Suspension, Fine, FIFA Disciplinary Code, Article 55