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Zidane headbutt only seen by 4th official

Referee Horacio Elizondo, who refereed the World Cup final between France and Italy in 2006, has not seen the Zinedine Zidane headbutt on Marco Materazzi’s chest. It was fourth official Luise Medina Cantelejo who advised him to give a straight red card. That’s what he told Issue Eleven. That incident happened on 9th of July 2006, now 11 years ago.

In a video of the incident you can see the referee talks with the assistant referee and then giving a red card to the French player. But it was not the assistant who saw the incident, Elizondo explained now. Have a quick look at the situation on the video below.

When the 4th official helps you

Elizondo admits that ‘it was all done over the headset’. He was following the ball at another part of the pitch. That’s why did not see what happened between Zidane and Materazzi. “Then play switches and goes back into the half of the pitch Materazzi was lying in.” He remembered that “that point that I saw him lying on the floor”. He asked his assistants, but neither of them had seen what happened. “I had a lot of doubts, clearly something had happened, but if no one saw what it was… and then Luis Medina Cantalejo’s voice [the fourth official] appears in my headset, and he says, “Horacio, Horacio, I saw it,” he says to me. “A really violent headbutt by Zidane on Materazzi, right in the chest.””

Luis Medina Cantalejo also told that he could not see if Materazzi did something before. That’s where Zidane’s career as football player ended.

Zidane headbutt punished by referee Horacio Elizondo


  • Kristian

    The interesting question is: Did the fourth official see it live with his own eyes, or did he see it on the replay on the video screen in the stadium?

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