'BRING ME THE B*LLS OF MATERAZZI'
By Martin Fricker
THE furious mother of Zinedine Zidane last night PRAISED her son for his disgraceful World Cup headbutt on Marco Materazzi.
And Malika Zidane warned the Italian defender she wants his "b*lls chopped off for his part in Zidane's sending off.
Her outburst came after claims Materazzi branded her a "terrorist whore" in the ugly spat.
Algerian Malika, who is recovering from an illness, said Zidane, 34, was simply protecting her honour when he butted Materazzi in Sunday's final.
She told friends: "I am utterly disgusted by what I have heard. I praise my son for defending his family's honour.
"No one should be subjected to such foul insults on or off the football pitch and I don't care if it was a World Cup Final.
"I have nothing but contempt for Materazzi and, if what he said is true, then I want his balls on a platter.
"Our whole family is deeply saddened that Zinedine's career should end with a red card but at least he has his honour. Some things are bigger than football."
Malika spoke out as it was claimed the Italian players also made jibes about Zidane's bald head.
Materazzi last night admitted he insulted his French opponent but denied calling him a terrorist or abusing his family and Muslim religion.
He also accused Zidane of being arrogant and treating him like dirt before he was butted in the chest.
The Inter Milan star said: "I categorically did not call Zidane a terrorist and certainly didn't mention his mother. For me a mother is sacred.
"I held his shirt for a few seconds, then he turned to me, jeering. He scoffed at me, looking at me with super arrogance, up and down. Then he said 'If you really want my shirt I'll give it you afterwards'.
"I replied with an insult, that's true. It was the kind of insult you will hear dozens of times and just slips out."
Materazzi refused to disclose what the insult was. But some reports claim the 32-year-old said to Zidane: "I'd rather take the shirt off your wife."
A French football source told how Real Madrid star Zidane was ridiculed by the Italian stars over his baldness.
The insider said: "Footballers can be very childish and Zizou's lack of hair was certainly a target for the bullies.
"On Sunday he received the usual shouts of 'baldie' from Italian defenders. It inflamed an already tense situation."
Zidane was last night believed to be at his mansion on the French Riviera with his Spanish dancer wife Veronique and their sons Enzo, 12, Luca, eight, Theo, four, and six-month-old Elyaz.
Fifa confirmed a probe would take place into the shocking scenes which marred Italy's triumph over France.
A spokesman said: "We will open a disciplinary investigation into Zidane's conduct to clarify the circumstances."
England skipper David Beckham sent a text message backing his Real team-mate. A friend said: "David knows ZZ as a man of integrity and wanted to wish him the best. They are close."
Algerian president Abdelaziz Bouteflika - visiting Tony Blair - sent Zidane a letter of support. He described the player, born in Marseille after his parents emigrated from Algeria, as a "World Cup demi-god".
Officials last night called for Materazzi to be punished if it was proven he hurled racist insults at Zidane.
Anti-racism group Kick It Out said: "If there was a racial slur, Fifa needs to act."