Zidane statue causes controversy

Critics say the figure is promoting the wrong image of the former France captain and believe that it violates football's moral code, instead preferring a goal-based tribute
Officials in Paris want to see the newly erected statue of Zinedine Zidane's infamous headbutt on Marco Materazzi in the 2006 World Cup final taken down.

The five-meter tall bronze figure stands outside the Pompidou Arts Centre in Paris and is known to have angered French football bureaucrats who feel that it sends out an unprofessional image of their legendary former captain.

In an open letter to Zidane, administrators wrote: “By choosing this provocative image, the artist has deliberately opted to ignore all your talents and all the positive emotions that you were able to share with the people of our country."

It stands "in contrary to sporting ethics and values carried and transmitted by the hundreds of thousands of educators who invest all over our country for young practitioner."

Instead, they believe a sculpture representing Zidane's two headed goals against Brazil in the 1998 World Cup triumph would be more appropriate.

Whether Zizou himself will support the removal of the efigy remains to be seen, but president of the Pompidou Arts Centre, Alain Seban, is "shocked" by the appeals.

"This is more or less a call for censorship," he said.

Zidane claimed to have been racially provoked by the Italian defender in the build-up up to his headbutt though was duly fined and made to do community service for FIFA.

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