Fifa to investigate Materazzi

2006-07-13 15:45
Zurich - Fifa said on Thursday it opened disciplinary proceedings against Marco Materazzi for his conduct in France's World Cup final defeat.

World soccer's governing body said it opened the investigation after statements from Zinedine Zidane, who was sent off on Sunday for head-butting Italy defender Materazzi in the chest.

Zidane claimed he was provoked by insults from Materazzi.

Fifa said in a statement it had also summoned both players to attend a hearing of its disciplinary committee on July 20. A decision is expected later that day.

Zidane said in an interview with TF1 television on Wednesday that his actions were in response to repeated harsh insults from Materazzi about his mother and sister, but did not go into specifics.

"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," Fifa said in a statement.

Zidane has the right to make a written statement, which must be submitted by Tuesday.

Materazzi will then be given a copy of the statement so he can respond. - AP

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