French Amateur Football Districts Want Zidane Headbutt Statue Removed
Six years after ZINEDINE ZIDANE's headbutt of MARCO MATERAZZI during the 2006 World Cup finals, "the gesture is still controversial," according to LE PARISIEN. The bronze statue immortalizing the gesture on display outside the Pompidou Center in Paris "has not pleased amateur football." National Association of Football Districts Chair MICHEL KEFF and about 30 district presidents wrote a letter demanding the statue by Algerian artist ADEL ABDESSEMED be removed immediately. The letter says the statue "displays the most regrettable gesture" of the "immense career" of Zidane. Furthermore it undermines "sporting ethics and the values carried by hundreds of thousands of youth workers" (LE PARISIEN, 10/22). In London, Adam Sage wrote that Abdessemed is "admired by some of France's wealthiest and most-influential figures," including billionaire industrialist FRANÇOIS PINAULT. The artist also "holds himself in high esteem." He wrote in his new biography, "It was not me who chose art, it was art who chose me. I try to enlighten the world" (LONDON TIMES, 10/23).