Mixed response to Marco ban
By Pete Allison
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Marco Materazzi's ban from Fifa has provoked mixed reactions in Italy.
Fifa's decision to ban Marco Materazzi for the alleged provocation of Zinedine Zidane's head-butt in the World Cup final has caused mixed responses in Italy.
Internazionale, Materazzi's domestic football side, have questioned the two-match ban handed to the 32-year-old, especially after Fifa confirmed that the head-butt was not racially motivated.
"While the respect and the consideration I have for Fifa remains and will always remain, I wish to underline the disproportion for the penalty inflicted on Materazzi and the one inflicted on the French player [Zidane] or between the player who provoked a reaction and the one who reacted," said Inter president Giacinto Facchetti.
Zidane was handed a three-match ban, but as he has opted to retire from football, he will now spend three days doing humanitarian work for Fifa.
"Furthermore, cases like this rewrite laws and create precedents that will force various disciplinary committees to call both players involved in reactions and provoking reactions," Facchetti continued.
In contrast, the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) have confirmed that they will not be taking action against Fifa regarding their decision.
"The Fifa disciplinary commission's definitive verdict will be respected by us," said commissioner Guido Rossi, "but the episode remains given to TV images and to the public's opinions and judgements across the world."
Materazzi will now miss Italy's Euro 2008 qualifiers against Lithuania on September 2 and, ironically, against France in Paris four days later.