Sunday, July 16, 2006

The Headbutt of all Jokes

Who would have thought that in the electrifying atmosphere at Berlin's magnificient party-venue Olympiastadioum, the 9th of July, apart from settling the World Cup battle will also forever change the meaning and usage of a colloquial expression forever!

Yet thats exactly what happened! At the 110th minute, with 10 minutes to go to a Penalty Kick Shoot-out (what I refer to as the Mother of All Russian Roulettes) and the rest is history! Tons and tons of stuff has been written and shown on the incident, yet what continues to bug me is why did Zidane lose his calm? Knowing that he's more than a little hot-headed, one would certainly expect what happened, yet knowing that its the WC Final with 10 minutes to go and it is his last appearance ever, couldnt he have chosen to downplay his ego and feelings for once?! I am more than a little miffed with him, but I think whats important is to let it go.

FIFA set up a disciplinary hearing against Materazzi, which I believe is only a just move. Throughout the tournament, captains of different teams including Cannavaro of Italy read Anti-Racism messages. If FIFA is so keen on using futball as a means of promoting Equality and end of Racism, then how ironic it is that we often get to see incidents of insuts/abuses/humiliation that players hurl at each other, some of them no doubt with racist undercurrents. And sadly, a lot of this is done as part of a totally unethical team-strategy and not on the basis of personal disputes. Obviously, FIFA must act on those who indulge in acts of provocation physical or verbal.

True, Zidane could have chosen to remain calm and he chose the opposite. But it cannot be denied that if what Materazzi said was indeed insulting to Zidane's close family, then knowing Zidane and his pride, one thing can clearly be concluded - Zidane may have been the bullet, but in more ways than one Materazzi was the weapon which fired that bullet. I feel that FIFA must punish those who provoke with the intent of confrontation as much as the people who actually do the bashing-up.

Zidane, in the meanwhile has gotten so much flak over all of it, that you cannot but help being sympathetic to him. Among the thousands of Zidane Headbutting Postcards, Zidane Headbutting Videos, Zidane Headbutting Video-games, etc ............ Here's a video that atleast captures the sadness/poignance of the moment when Zidane walks past the Jules Rimet Trophy, without as much as giving it a second glance.

Zizou u shall live on forever!! If at all people will mention your name, it will inevitably and deservingly linked with the likes of Pele and Maradona!


Nandu said...

my point is,once zidane got a red card for his act he should have gone to materazzi and should have really kicked his ass harder...anyways, it was his last match...fifa can't do anything,but fine which is no problem for zidane.

Rajiv Iyer said...

Yeah ........ So that Zidane retires with an even more sullied image?! No thanks - His actual behavious was despicable enough, any more hypothetical behaviour and he would hav never been able to redeem himself