Since this incident happened on the world's biggest sports stage, I feel this is a social issue. How on earth can you award an MVP trophy, in this case the World Cup Gold Ball, to a player who head butted another player during the championship game between his team, France, and Italy, ultimately won by Italy on penalty kicks?
If we were talking about an incident that had nothing to do with the game or at least didn't happen on the playing field, perhaps there could be some varied opinions. But as I said, this incident occurred during overtime of a tie game, the championship game no less. Many people feel this cost his team the victory. That's debatable. But the argument can be made that France was outplaying Italy during the final minutes of the game when this happened. Instead of scoring the winning goal, they had to play the rest of the way a man down because Zidane was given a red card for this stupidity, which also meant he wouldn't be available for penalty kicks; and the game was ultimately won by Italy on penalty kicks.
What kind of message does it send to the youth of the world that you can do something like that in front of millions and still be awarded for it? Does it really matter what Marco Materazzi might have said to possibly instigate such a deplorable reaction? So this is how the soccer community punishes these kinds of actions?
I'll be spending the day out at camp with the family. So you folks take it from here.
soccer World Cup France Zidane Italy gold ball red card MVP Zizou Materazzi