BBC says Materazzi to sue papers over Zidane insult reports

ROME Thu Jul 5, 2007 9:58pm BST

Italy's Marco Materazzi falls on the pitch after being head-butted by France's Zinedine Zidane (R) during the 2006 World Cup final in Berlin July 9, 2006. Materazzi is taking legal action against three British newspapers over their reporting of the incident in last July's World Cup final when he clashed with Zinedine Zidane, the BBC reported on Thursday. REUTERS/Peter Schols/GPD/Handout

Italy's Marco Materazzi falls on the pitch after being head-butted by France's Zinedine Zidane (R) during the 2006 World Cup final in Berlin July 9, 2006. Materazzi is taking legal action against three British newspapers over their reporting of the incident in last July's World Cup final when he clashed with Zinedine Zidane, the BBC reported on Thursday.

Credit: Reuters/Peter Schols/GPD/Handout

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ROME (Reuters) - Italy defender Marco Materazzi is taking legal action against three newspapers over their reporting of the incident in last July's World Cup final when he clashed with Zinedine Zidane, the BBC reported on Thursday.

Zidane responded to verbal provocation by Materazzi by headbutting him to the ground, earning a red card in his last game before retiring from football.

Materazzi has decided to seek damages against the Sun, the Daily Mail and the Daily Star over claims about what he said to the Frenchman, said the Italian's lawyer Steven Heffer.

"He is taking legal action to clear his name," Heffer was quoted as saying on the BBC's website (www.bbc.co.uk).

Materazzi received a two-match ban from FIFA over the incident. Zidane has never revealed exactly what he said to him, only that the insult related to his mother and sister.

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