Zizou and Materazzi both banned
By Tom Adams
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Zinedine Zidane and Marco Materazzi have both been punished by Fifa.
France legend Zinedine Zidane has been handed a three-match ban for his World Cup final headbutt on Marco Materazzi, whilst the Italy stopper has received a two-match suspension for his part in the unsavoury incident.
Three time Fifa World Player of the Year Zidane brought his illustrious career to a close on a shameful note as he thrust his head into the chest of his Italian adversary to earn a red card in extra time of The Azzurri's victory in Berlin on July 9.
The controversial incident attracted intense focus and Materazzi was forced to defend himself against accusations that he provoked Zidane using insults directed towards the Frenchman's mother and sister.
Although the defender denied insulting Zidane's mother both players were called to a Fifa hearing in Zurich, and after the former Real Madrid midfielder stated his case on Thursday punishments have been handed out to both parties.
Despite retiring from professional football Zidane has been banned for three games, although he will spend three days carrying out community service with Fifa instead, as well as being fined 7,500 Swiss Francs (£3,260).
Materazzi has received a two-game ban, ruling him out of Italy's first two qualifiers for the 2008 European Championships which come against Lithuania on September 2 and France four days later.
The Internazionale star has also been fined 5,000 Swiss Francs (£2,170) for his role in provoking Zidane into the famous attack, whilst both players acknowledged that the defender's comments were not of a racist nature.
"Zinedine Zidane has agreed to do community service work with children and youngsters," read a statement from Fifa.
"As Zidane has now retired from international football, the committee took note of Zidane's pledge to do three days of community service work with children and youngsters as part of Fifa's humanitarian activities.
"In their statements, both players stressed that Materazzi's comments had been defamatory but not of a racist nature.
"During the course of their hearings both players also apologised to Fifa for their inappropriate behaviour and expressed their regret at the incident."
Fifa spokesman Andreas Herren also confirmed that the fourth official had not seen the incident on a television replay before informing referee Horacio Elizondo, as had been suggested in some quarters, after both officials spoke with the disciplinary committee.
"I would like to reiterate that the fourth official saw the incident with his own eyes and did not see it on the monitor.
"The fourth officials are trained to see off-the-ball incidents and not just concentrate on the action where the referee is involved and the regulations state they are to report any violent incident to the referee."
Following the controversy Zidane will, however, keep the Golden Ball award he won for being the World Cup's best player, despite indications from Fifa president Sepp Blatter that he could be stripped of the accolade.
"It [taking the prize away from Zidane] wasn't even discussed at the meeting," Herren stated.