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Blame game

Sir ' While congratulating Italy for winning the World Cup, one cannot help feeling disturbed over the Zidane-Materazzi episode ('Flash of Zidane's flawed genius', July 11). After Zinedine Zidane of France felled Marco Materazzi of Italy with a head-butt, the former was sent off with a red card and this made it easier for Italy to win the final. It is contended that Zidane reacted violently to a racist slur from Materazzi. If this is the case, then both the players should have been red-carded. In a similar incident in the 1990 World Cup, Rudi Voeller of Germany and Frank Rijkaard of Holland were sent off together, the former for making a racist remark and the latter for spitting at him for his words.

Yours faithfully,
Ashok Kumar Ghosh, Calcutta


Sir ' It is unfortunate that an excellent player like Zinedine Zidane had to leave the field humiliated, and that too during what was probably his last international game. One wonders what prompted a composed man like Zidane to butt Materazzi so violently. He has brought shame on his country by acting in this way in the final moments of a crucial match.

Yours faithfully,
Amitava Banerjee, Chennai


Sir ' Zinedine Zidane might have been provoked by the Italian player, Marco Materazzi, but the French player should have kept his cool as he needed to be there in the field with his team till the last minute. By acting on the spur of the moment, he drowned the fortunes of France in the World Cup.

Yours faithfully,
Barun Kumar Mahapatro, Berhampur,Orissa


Sir ' Zinedine Zidane's conduct in the final minutes of the World Cup final proves that even experienced players can lose their cool when provoked relentlessly by the opposition. Italy's gameplan paid off and a footballer of high stature fell victim to guile.

Yours faithfully,
Rajeev Goenka, Calcutta


Sir ' It is unfortunate that Zinedine Zidane had to end his career with the disgrace of having been sent off in a World Cup final. But it should be remembered that he has seen the red card many times in his career. This means that Zidane's cool demeanour is largely a matter of appearance.What he did at the Olympiastadion in Berlin on the night of the final to Marco Materazzi was nothing unusual by his standards. Without complicating matters, the Fifa should stop further investigations into the Zidane-Materazzi affair.

Yours faithfully,
Bidyut Kumar Chatterjee, Faridabad


Sir ' It is surprising that Zinedine Zidane did not learn from his past mistakes that had resulted in his expulsion in matches previous to the final. His ill-temper got the better of him yet again and fetched him a red card at a crucial stage of the match. But then, a man with a genius is also human. If Zidane had really been abused repeatedly by Marco Materazzi, then his sudden outburst can be justified. At the same time, what he did on the pitch that night would forever remain a blot on his career.

Yours faithfully,
Bidyut Datta, Calcutta


Sir ' It is true that Zinedine Zidane's momentary spurt of madness prevented France from taking the coveted World Cup trophy home. However, the referee, Horacio Elizondo, should take some of the blame as well for a taking the decision to send off a great player for an act which did not warrant such a harsh penalty.

Yours faithfully,
Arvind K. Pandey, Allahabad


Sir ' The Fifa claims that one of the main objectives of the football World Cup is to promote international brotherhood. But the tiff between Zinedine Zidane and Marco Materazzi during did not quite look like a brotherly spat. Zidane must have been provoked strongly enough to react so violently. The referee should have looked into the incident properly before giving Zidane the marching order, something which changed the course of the game.

Yours faithfully,
Asit Kumar Mitra, Calcutta


Sir ' The Italians have been lucky to reach the final and then win the Cup when they did not have much to speak for themselves in the early stages of the tournament. They won the final more through trickery than through genuine skill. Marco Materazzi knew that as long as Zidane was there on the field, it would be quite impossible to beat France. So he did what he could to get Zidane out of the way.

The charges against Materazzi will become graver if it is proved that he really called Zidane a terrorist. When the world is plagued by the menace of terrorism, calling Zidane a terrorist simply on the basis of his Algerian parentage is truly a grave and punishable offence.

Yours faithfully,
Subhobrata Basu, Calcutta


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