April 03, 2008

Italy defender Marco Materazzi has received a full apology from British newspaper The Daily Star following a series of false articles relating to Zinedine Zidane's ejection during the 2006 World Cup final.

Zidane was infamously red-carded in Italy's victory over France in Berlin after he head-butted Materazzi in the chest in extra time.

The next day The Daily Star printed a series of defamatory articles in which it said that Zidane reacted after Materazzi called the Frenchman's mother a "terrorist whore."

It was later revealed by "the Matrix" that Zidane's sister was the subject of the insult and that no racism, nor the word "terrorist," was ever used. However, the newspaper failed to correct its error or apologize.

That left it open to libel, and Materazzi's lawyers issued a High Court action for damages, which they won last month.

The Inter stopper will now attend London's High Court on Monday to hear an official apology read out, which is in addition to another apology published in The Daily Star.

"I really appreciate the apology published in The Daily Star," reads a statement from Materazzi. "The truth is now coming out -- finally. I am looking forward to a quick and positive conclusion to my claims against the other newspapers that published lies about me. Only then will I be truly satisfied."

Materazzi's lawyer, Steven Heffer, has explained the terms of the settlement and payout.

"There will be a High Court hearing on Monday when The Daily Star will publicly apologize to Materazzi," Heffer stated. "They have already done so in the newspaper. The Daily Star now accepts that the allegations are wholly untrue and there is no question of Materazzi having said anything of a racist nature to Zidane.

"The Daily Star will now also be paying my client substantial damages and his legal costs."

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