World Cup: Lip readers differ on exact words of Zidane insult


Wed, Jul 12, 2006 - Page 19

Italy's Marco Materazzi called Zinedine Zidane a "son of a terrorist whore" just before the France captain gave him a brutal head butt in the World Cup final, Britain's top forensic lip reader says.

The Times newspaper hired Jessica Rees, whose skill has seen her summoned as an expert witness at criminal trials, to study a tape of Sunday's match that saw Zidane get a red card for his seemingly spontaneous assault.

"After an exhaustive study of the match video, and with the help of an Italian translator, Rees claimed that Materazzi called Zidane `the son of a terrorist whore' before adding `so just f**off' for good measure," it said.

Materazzi on Monday denied calling Zidane a terrorist, adding that "I don't even know what the word means."

The Daily Mail -- who wrongly described Marseilles native Zidane as "Algeria-born" -- said yesterday that it too engaged the services of a lip reader, whom it did not identify, who reached the exact same conclusion as Rees.

The Independent cited lip readers for Brazil's Globo television as concluding that Materazzi had told Zidane that his sister was a "prostitute."