Yes, we all know that France lost the Final match of FIFA 2006. A pity since they dominated the second half of the match. But congratulations to Italy for their 4th victory!
But the worse thing to have happened as far as I’m concerned is Zidane’s headbutting Mazeratti and earning himself a red card for that. Such a horrible way to end his international career.
I have spent 24 hours on the Net trying to find out what different people in the world had to say about it. We all agree that it was wrong of him to give in to provocation no matter how bad it may be. And he has been punished for that, and will always be punished for it with no way to redeem himself.
What disheartened me though is to see, especially in American-dominated forums, the degradation of the discussion about the World Cup into French-bashing (needless to say, also soccer-bashing since most Americans do not like the sport :-)). Serves the “arrogant”, “cowardly”, "ungrateful" etc Frenchies right blah blah. Why these adjectives? Why bring national, racial and religious rivalries into a discussion about soccer?
However wrong his action, what Zidane did brought huge attention to the racism and other trash/foul talk that reigned in this World Cup and in those before it. FIFA 2006 had for goal that of overcoming racism, so if Mazeratti did provoke Zidane with racist slurs, then he had also broken the FIFA spirit and should be taken to task for it. Not Italy, just him. And what has foul talk to do with playing football? After all you play with your feet, not with your mouth.
But at the moment all is just speculation. Hopefully both will care to shed some light on the incident soon.
So I am quite surprised to see so much hatred for the French aboard. I am not French but I have lived in this country and I love it. And no matter how badly they have been fulfilling their principles of Liberté Egalité Fraternité, I know that most in the country hold them dear.
I have also come across many journalists and individuals around the world attempting to dissect Zidane’s Muslim origins (including his given name!), pretending that even though he is a non-practicing Muslim, he is a symbol for the Muslim world and that his action is therefore a shame to all Muslims!
That is horrifying. Zidane is French. Full stop. And it is pathetic trying to use him to make another slur against the Muslims.
Zidane has done much for French soccer, for young people living in sensitive neighbourhoods, for France rich, poor, white or coloured. And for me, one bad mistake among a few others will not erase all the far greater things that he had done.
And no, I do not see why all the time we have to turn the other cheek for someone who slapped us on the 1st one. But that’s just me.
Vive Zidane, you’re a hero!
PS : For those who are fans of Zidane, enjoy this video