French Daily News (Paris):
Gunter Louis, Professor Emeritus of the University of Sorbonne, Paris, argues in his latest book ‘Materazzi’s Accident: A Disputed Infraction’ that what happened in the final game of the World Cup was a huge tragedy but was not a head-butt as Zidane had no intention of coming into contact with Materazzi. The Italian lobby has tried hard to prevent the publication of the book, but Prof. Louis has only renewed his resolve as a result of being labeled a ‘denier’. Here is an excerpt from Louis’ interview with Paris Match:
Why the controversy about your book?
The Italian lobby rests its case on the alleged ‘testata’ based on three faulty lines of reasoning: 1) that Zidane exchanged verbal animosity with Materazzi prior to the alleged ‘head-butt’, 2) that Zidane purposefully pounded his head into Materazzi’s chest and 3) that as a result Materazzi fell to the ground. Although historians are still researching various aspects of the incident and the French government has formally invited the Italians to do a joint inquiry, an equally valid thesis has previously received no coverage by the Western press. In fact: 1) Zidane’s head did not come into contact with Materazzi’s chest, 2) Materazzi did not fall to the ground, and 3) it was Materazzi’s chest that slammed into Zidane’s head. Finally, a great deal of evidence points to Materazzi assuming the par terre position to induce the arbiter into red-carding Zidane, thus enabling the Italians to win the shoot-out.
Is lack of intention on its own sufficient not to call the incident a ‘head-butt’?
According to Article II of the Head-Butt Convention of 1948, ‘intent to do harm’ is a precondition of head-butting. The mere contact alone is not sufficient. There exists no evidence that Zidane had any intent to harm the Italian footballer.