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Football: Marco in FIFA quiz on 'insult' to Zidane.


MARCO MATERAZZI will today face a FIFA disciplinary committee investigating Zinedine Zidane's World Cup Final dismissal.

Both players were summoned to attend a hearing next Thursday, but the Italian asked to be seen today as he is going on holiday next week.

The defender was last night locked in talks with his agent Claudio Vigorelli and lawyers in Milan.

Vigorelli said: "We asked FIFA permission to change the date and they will interview him in Zurich on Friday.

"We have spent the last few hours going through our defence and we have many hours work left ahead of us."

France skipper Zidane was sent off in extra-time in Berlin for head-butting the centre-half in the chest.

Italy went on to win the World Cup in a penalty shoot-out, but Zidane has since said he reacted to repeated provocation from his opponent.

A FIFA statement confirmed: "The proceedings were initiated in the light of initial statements from French player Zinedine Zidane who has since indicated in an interview that his actions came in response to repeated provocation."

Zidane was initially vilified for his actions on Sunday night.

But there has been widespread sympathy for the former Real Madrid star once the alleged scale of Materazzi's provocation became known.

Zidane revealed earlier this week that Materazzi had insulted his mother and sister.

He said: "They were very hard words. I would rather have taken a blow to the face than hear that."

According to FIFA regulations if Materazzi is found guilty of "dishonour" over insults to Zidane's family he could face a two-match ban and a pounds 2,200 fine.

However, if his insults were found to be racist he could be fined pounds 4,400 and receive a five-match ban.

Meanwhile, world champions Italy last night named former midfielder Roberto Donadoni as their new coach 24 hours after the resignation of Marcello L ippi.


PROBE: Materazzi' HEARING: Zidane
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jul 14, 2006
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