Page last updated at 12:45 GMT, Monday, 3 November 2008

Materazzi wins Daily Mail damages

Marco Materazzi falls to the ground after being headbutted by Zinedine Zidane
The Daily Mail accepted the claims it printed were wholly untrue

Italian footballer Marco Materazzi has won damages from the Daily Mail over claims he racially abused Zinedine Zidane in the 2006 World Cup final.

The amount was not disclosed, but the paper accepted it was wrong to report Materazzi had called Zidane "the son of a terrorist whore".

French star Zidane was sent off after head-butting the Italian's chest.

Jonathan Price, lawyer for the Daily Mail's owners, said the paper offered its apologies for the distress caused.

Materazzi, who currently plays for Inter Milan, was not at London's High Court for the settlement of his libel case against Associated Newspapers.

His counsel, Jane Phillips, told Mr Justice Eady that, in July 2006, in its coverage of the World Cup Final, the newspaper published a series of items accompanied by photos, including one of Materazzi being head-butted by Zidane, captioned "Revealed: the insult that made Zidane see red".

She added that the articles stated quite wrongly that Materazzi, who scored one of the crucial penalties which secured an Italian victory, had used vile racist abuse during the match.

'Wholly untrue'

From July to December that year, it also published articles on its website which included similar defamatory material.

Ms Phillips said the newspaper accepted all of the allegations were wholly untrue and that there was no question of Materazzi having said anything of a racist nature to Zidane such as to goad him.

Mr Price, for Associated Newspapers, said that it offered its apologies for the distress and embarrassment caused, and had agreed to pay Materazzi substantial - but undisclosed - damages and his costs.

The Italian also won damages and an apology from the Daily Star earlier in the year.

'Insulted his sister'

Following the head-butting incident, in July 2006, Materazzi was handed a two-match ban by world governing body Fifa.

France's captain Zidane, playing his last match before retiring from football, was banned for three games and fined 3,260.

At the time he claimed he was provoked after Materazzi had "insulted his mother". But he has never specified exactly what Materazzi said to him and has refused to apologise to his opponent.

Materazzi later stated 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.

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