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Last Updated: Thursday, 5 July 2007, 16:00 GMT 17:00 UK
Materazzi issues World Cup writs
Zinedine Zidane headbutts Marco Materazzi to the ground
Zidane's headbutt on Materazzi was seen around the world
Italian footballer Marco Materazzi has begun libel proceedings in the UK over reports of insults made to Zinedine Zidane in the 2006 World Cup final.

Defender Materazzi was headbutted by Zidane, resulting in the Frenchman being sent off.

Materazzi is seeking damages at the High Court from the Sun, the Daily Mail and the Daily Star over claims about what the Italian had said to Zidane.

His lawyer, Steven Heffer, said: "He is taking legal action to clear his name."

Mr Heffer added: "Marco Materazzi is issuing claims in the High Court against three newspapers, the Sun, the Daily Mail and the Daily Star for damages for libel and an injunction.

'Enormous damage'

"He is left with no alternative as all three newspapers have failed to correct or apologise for their false reports of the incident.

"Marco has suffered enormous damage to his reputation as a result of the press reports."

Zidane, playing his last game before retiring from football, later claimed he was provoked after Materazzi had insulted his mother.

But Materazzi, who plays for Inter Milan, revealed that Zidane's sister was the subject.

"I was tugging his shirt, he said to me 'if you want my shirt so much I'll give it to you afterwards,' and I answered that I'd prefer his sister," he said.

Following the headbutting incident, in July 2006, Materazzi was handed a two-match ban from world governing body Fifa, while Zidane was banned for three games and fined 3,260.

Zidane has never specified what Materazzi said to him and has refused to apologise to his opponent.

Materazzi breaks Zidane silence
05 Sep 06 |  Internationals
Zidane's red mist
09 Jul 06 |  World Cup 2006

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