Italian footballer Marco Materazzi has been given an apology and a “substantial” payment from the Daily Star, over a story accusing him of racially abusing French captain Zinedine Zidane during the 2006 World Cup final.
The paper published a string of articles following the 2006 World Cup final between France and Italy in which Zidane headbutted Materazzi in the game’s dying seconds, earning him a red card.
The Star said Materazzi goaded Zidane, whose parents are Algerian, by calling his mother a ‘terrorist whore”.
Materazzi’s lawyer said the player had also launched proceedings against the Daily Mail and The Sun over the same story.
Steven Heffer of law firm Collyer Bristow LLP said: ‘The Daily Star now accepts that these allegations are wholly untrue and there is no question of Marco Materazzi having said anything of a racist nature to Zidane whatsoever.
“The Daily Star has agreed to apologise publicly to Marco Materazzi, both in the newspaper and by way of a statement in court.
“The Daily Star will also be paying my client substantial damages and his legal costs.”
Materazzi said: “I really appreciate the apology published in the Daily Star. The truth is now coming out – finally.
“I am looking forward to a quick and positive conclusion to my claims against the other newspapers. Only then will I be truly satisfied.”