My previous conclusion that the less said about the World Cup final the better notwithstanding, I found a more detailed response from the Italian player who played the castle door to Zidane's battering ram:
"I did insult him, it's true," Materazzi said in Tuesday's Gazzetta dello Sport. "But I categorically did not call him a terrorist. I'm not cultured and I don't even know what an Islamic terrorist is."
If you didn't say what is alleged, shouldn't a denial be enough? What's with this crap about needing to be cultured to know what a terrorist is? Does anyone believe that his life is so sheltered that he has no clue what has been happening in the US, England, Spain, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, et al, for the past 5 years?
What Zidane did might have been one of the most boneheaded (how many times is THAT pun going to be driven into the ground?) plays in big-stage sports ever. The Italians could have just shut up and preserved their status as unblemished champs. But by providing anything more than a denial, Materazzi is inviting all sorts of international mud-slinging and opening up the possibility that the 2006 World Cup could become the first ever held with 32 losing teams.