Materazzi tight-lipped on ban
By Nadia Carminati
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Marco Materazzi has refused to be drawn into commenting on his two-game ban.
Marco Materazzi has refused to be drawn into commenting on his much-publicised two-game ban.
The Italian defender was punished by Fifa this week for provoking Zinedine Zidane into his infamous head-butt in the World Cup final.
As well as being handed a fine, he will miss the Azzurri's opening two Euro 2008 qualifiers later this year.
There has been a wave of disbelief at the suspension, with the 32-year-old's club Internazionale claiming that it is totally without precedent.
Rather than appeal or criticise the decision to ban him though, Materazzi is determined not to inflame the situation further and has urged everyone to draw a line under the entire affair.
"I was begged not to answer, not to talk," he explained.
"It is a lot of effort to stay silent but I do it because I am aware of the risks. It would start the third world war.
"So let us close the episode here.
He added: "I've paid a hard price for a series of mistakes I've made in the past. My life is with my family. I am the real Materazzi there."