Talking to Sasha, I found out which player had done that incredibly stupid head-butt I saw on the television in the airport. I had been walking up to the bar where the TV was located, and saw the replay from quite a distance, and thought to myself 'wow - that player was really dumb'. And then they did the shootout, and I thought 'where's Zidane?' And then I found out that the head-butt guy and Zidane were the same person. To say I was shocked would be an understatement.

I'm also a little surprised by the French reaction - he did something stupid, he got caught, and instead of accepting it and saying 'well, that was dumb', they complain about the use of video replay to catch him, and how 'he must have been provoked'. Well, yeah, one certainly hopes he was. But there are probably better ways to deal.

Derek (Erb) commented:
Zidane's action were the most embarassing and shameful in French football history. It's the sort of thing that could happen to any guy... but Zidou is considered such a hero and this was his last match ever that it just didn't seem possible.

However I am confused by your understanding of the French reaction to the "event". We watched the match on TF1 here and I have since watched the comments on the news this morning. The comment live last night was "What happened?". "What could have provoked that?". "It doesn't matter what it was... that was a definite red card event. No discussion.". "How did the ref see that?" "Was it video?" "How awful for Zidane...". "What did he say to Zidane to make him do that?".

Next thing we knew Zidane was gone... right to the locker room... no sitting on the bench rooting for the team... no comiseration with the others when they lost... just an ashamed drooped head walking back to the locker room... it's 11:00 the next morning here in France... no one's seen Zidane in public since...

This morning obviously everyone was talking about nothing but last night. A lot of the other "ex-" football players were asking the public not to judge Zidane's entire career on this shameful act and that this should not be the strongest and longest-lasting image we retain.

However everyone's also talking about the possibility of video replay being used by the referees. The comments are not complaints. The comments are a plea to the FIFA to finally awake to the 20th century, let alone the 21st, and start using video replay to make the games more fair. We, the millions of spectators around the world, see the fouls, the play-acting, the misses and the deliberate hiding. It's about time the refs saw what is really going on on the pitch.

However there is also discussion of if they did use video replay this time why it would be just this time? Why this time use it and not use it during the obvious penalty that occurred during the match which was not counted and the obvious non-penalty which occurred and which was declared a penalty and for which Zidane scored France's first goal?. If we are going to start using video replay... great! But if we are using it then we use it all the time... not just for select events...

Zidane was embarassingly human last night. But he really should not be remembered for that last act...

on Mon Jul 10 10:00:01 2006

Jason in Egypt commented:
Sitting in a big crowd of several hundred Egyptian and seeing "the head butt" was really something! Surprise, shock, and lots of "why?" comments. And that's really the question everyone seems to be asking... Now my question is, will ZZ keep competing so that he's around in another 4 years? Would you want to end your World Cup career on this note? Or maybe he likes the idea of being infamous.
on Mon Jul 10 13:14:31 2006

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