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Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Open mic night, Zinedine Zidane

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.

7 comments:

El Mas Chingón said...

Zeb, I think the voting for the award closed before Zidane lost his head. That's probably why he won the trophy.

IIRC, the same thing happened with German goalkeeper Oliver Kahn during the 2002 World Cup. He was voted the winner of the award while the title game was still going on, and then he let in two second-half goals.

That's the only explanation I can think of for why he got the Golden Ball.

Zebster said...

See, I know very little about soccer but I enjoy an occasional Revs game and watch the World Cup. I figured since they announced the thing the day after the tourney was over, that they waited to vote until it was over. So the last two Golden Balls prove they should do it my way. LOL

Dr. Strangelove said...

zeb, the votes were made by journalists and not FIFA. Zidane ended up winning the most votes. The voting actually did not close until midnight Sunday. FIFA is not sure how many people voted before the incident and how many voted afterwards.

Zidane probably will give up the award today when he speaks on French TV. He apparently did not accept the second prize medal either.

Its a sad episode all around. If the lip readers have it right, Materazzi insulted Zidane's mother. His mother entered the hospital that morning before the match and is reported to be seriously ill. I can see why Zidane would react under those circumstances.

However, following Zidane for as long as I have, I would guess that he would be the first one to accept blame and the punishment that goes with it.

Your question is right on the mark. How do we explain this to our kids. Here, Zidane needs to speak up and take responsibility. He does a lot of work with kids and I am sure this is going to have to be explained properly and not whitewashed.

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