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Football: Zidane, Materazzi Get Bans, Fined for Exchange in World Cup Final


Former French national football (soccer) team captain Zinedine Zidane has been banned for three matches and fined for head-butting Italian Marco Materazzi in the World Cup final match in Germany this month.

The International Football Federation's Disciplinary Committee handed down the ban at a meeting in Zurich. The three-time world player of the year also was fined just over $6,000 for his action.

The French player retired after the final game in Berlin, but has agreed to do three days of community service with children as part of FIFA's humanitarian projects.

Materazzi was banned for two matches and fined more than $4,000 for his part in the incident. Both players apologized to FIFA for their inappropriate behavior.

Zidane was sent off for driving his head into Materazzi's chest in the second period of extra time in the July ninth final, which Italy won on penalties (5-3).

Zidane has said that his outburst was a reaction to Materazzi insulting his mother and sister. Materazzi has denied the claim. FIFA determined that his comments were defamatory but not racist.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP.