Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Football | Italy

Marco Materazzi © Reuters Images

Materazzi's racist slur revealed

South Korea's retired 2002 World Cup hero Ahn Jung-Hwan says he was cold-shouldered and subjected to racist slurs from Marco Materazzi during his troubled time with Serie A side AC Perugia.

In an interview on a South Korean television talk show Tuesday night, Ahn, 36, alleged that Perugia's then skipper Materazzi had been particularly intimidating.

"He barged into the locker room one day and barked at me in front of everyone, saying that I reeked of garlic," Ahn said.

"I didn't understand what he was saying but the translator, who was also a Korean, blushed and, at first, was too embarrassed to translate the remarks," he added.

Ahn's wife, a former Miss Korea beauty queen, told the same talk show that her husband was so intimidated that he stopped eating garlic-heavy Korean food.

Materazzi is no stranger to controversy.

Notoriously, taunting by the defender provoked a head-butt from French star Zinedine Zidane on him during the 2006 World Cup final, which resulted in a red card for Zidane before Italy went on to lift the title.

Ahn joined AC Perugia in 2000, but the move was not a happy one and ended in controversy.

After Ahn scored the golden goal against Italy that put South Korea through to the quarterfinals of the 2002 World Cup, Perugia owner Luciano Gaucci cancelled his contract.

Gaucci was quoted as saying he had "no intention of paying a salary to someone who has ruined Italian football".

Ahn said he had always been treated as "an outcast" by other players in the Italian club side.

"They seldom passed the ball to me in front of goal, even if they had no way for themselves to score," he said.

After leaving Italy, Ahn went on to play in Japan, France, Germany, South Korea and China. He retired in January last year.


More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Other Live Streaming

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Sports Talk

Calvin Emeka Onwuka
Klopp keeps it simple
Two events show why the players have easily taken to what Jurgen Klopp is asking of them.

Dr Errol Sweeney
14-year-old ref racially abused
We are constantly told that football is the most popular sport in the world and, to a large extent,...

Sunday Oliseh
Coaching Eagles: What they won’t tell you
Two days after starting as chief coach of the Super Eagles of Nigeria a representative of a major...

Segun Odegbami
Nigeria needs something valid to celebrate
The Adokie Amiesimaka Stadium erupted in an orgy of celebration after Nigeria beat Swaziland 2-0.