LONDON — Italian defender Marco Materazzi has won libel damages from a British tabloid over reports that he called Zinedine Zidane “the son of a terrorist whore” before the Frenchman head-butted him in the 2006 World Cup final.
The amount of damages was not disclosed, but was described as “substantial.”
The Inter Milan star successfully sued The Sun in London’s High Court for wrongly reporting that Materazzi made the comment to Zidane — who is of Algerian descent — before the French star head-butted the Italian in the chest in extra time.
Zidane was sent off and Italy went on to win the title in a penalty shootout after a 1-1 draw in Berlin.
“The Sun newspaper has paid substantial damages and has now withdrawn the allegations made against Marco and accept that he did not say anything of a racist nature to Zidane,” Materazzi’s lawyer, Steven Heffer, said Thursday. “This is the third libel victory for Marco Materazzi. At the end of last year, he was successful in his libel actions against the Daily Star and the Daily Mail newspapers.
“This brings his libel actions against British newspapers to a close and Marco is obviously happy with the outcome.”
The actions against the Daily Star and Daily Mail were settled with payment of damages, publication of an apology and statements read in open court.