Zidane could be stripped of best-player award: Blatter

FIFA president Sepp Blatter said French Zinedine Zidane could be stripped of his Golden Ball award for the best player at the World Cup, local reports said Wednesday.

"The winner of the award is not decided by FIFA, but by an international commission of journalists," La Repubblica quoted Blatter as saying.

"That said, FIFA's executive committee has the right, and the duty, to intervene when faced with behavior contrary to the ethic of the sport," Blatter added.

Zidane head-butted Italy defender Marco Materazzi in the chest after the two exchanged words on the field in extra time of Sunday's World Cup final. He was sent off and Italy won its fourth title on penalties.

FIFA's disciplinary committee opened an inquiry Tuesday into Zidane's behavior, but declined to say whether Materazzi's conduct is also being investigated.

Blatter said that "to see him act like that made me feel bad, for him and for fair play."

Zidane, who won the World Cup in 1998, said he would retire after the tournament.

Source: Xinhua

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