Italy defender Marco Materazzi says he did insult France's Zinedine Zidane during the World Cup final, just before Zidane was sent off for a headbutt.
Zidane reacted to Materazzi's insult by headbutting the defender
But Materazzi denied reports he called Zidane a "terrorist" or used insulting language towards Zidane's mother.
"It was the kind of insult you will hear dozens of times and just slips out of the ground," Materazzi is quoted in Italian paper La Gazetta dello Sport.
"I didn't call Zidane a terrorist and certainly didn't mention his mother."
Zidane looked at me with super arrogance... it's true I shot back with an insult
Zidane, who was born and grew up in Marseille, is the son of Algerian immigrants and has suffered taunts about his heritage throughout his football career.
But Materazzi added: "I am ignorant, I don't even know what an Islamic terrorist is; my only terrorist is her," he said pointing to his 10-month-old daughter.
"I did not bring up Zidane's mother; for me a mother is sacred."
Materazzi and Zidane became involved in a verbal spat with 10 minutes to go in extra-time with France and Italy drawing 1-1 in the World Cup final.
After Materazzi's insult Zidane shoved his head into the Italian's chest and was sent off, with Italy going on to win the match 5-3 on penalties.
"I held his shirt, for only a few seconds," said Materazzi, who had scored Italy's equaliser after Zidane put France ahead from the penalty spot.
"He turned towards me and scoffed at me, looking at me with super arrogance, up and down.
"He said 'if you really want my shirt, you can have it later.'
"It's true, I shot back with an insult."
Just what did Materazzi say to provoke this reaction from Zidane?
Media organisations across Europe have been trying to decipher what Materazzi said to provoke such an extreme reaction from Zidane.
But it remains unclear exactly what was said and the BBC has broadcast two different versions.
BBC Radio Five Live asked for help from a deaf lip reader, Jessica Rees, who read the words phonetically to an Italian translator.
She deciphered the insult as being "you're the son of a terrorist whore" - a translation also carried by many national newspapers in Britain on Tuesday.
The BBC's Ten O'Clock News also called in experts to study the television footage of the incident and determined the following:
Materazzi's first word to Zidane was "no" before he then told him to "calm down".
He then accused him of being a "liar" and wished "an ugly death to you and your family" on the day the Frenchman's mother had been taken to hospital ill. This was followed by "Go f*** yourself".
Zidane's agent, Alain Migliaccio, has hinted that Zidane will soon reveal exactly what was said by Materazzi.
Piara Powar, national co-ordinator for the anti-racism group Kick It Out told Five Live, said: "If there was a racial slur then Fifa needs to act."
Keith Hackett, head of referees in England, said that if it can be proved that Matterazzi racially abused the Frenchman, then Fifa should take retrospective action for "the good of the game."