By Ollie Irish
Internazionale striker Samuel Eto’o is likely to face a retrospective ban for headbutting an opponent during Inter’s 2-1 defeat to Chievo on Sunday. In a brilliant irony, the headbutt happened on a weekend that saw Serie A paying tribute to Zidane.
Eto’o, unhappy with a tackle by Bostjan Cesar, ran over to Cesar and headbutted him in the chest, in a stylee that recalled Zidane’s assault on Marco Materazzi in the 2006 World Cup final.
The referee missed the incident, but Serie A officials can look at video evidence and take action, with a three-match ban the most likely outcome.
Inter manager Rafa Benitez claimed after the game that Eto’o was provoked by Cesar: “What Eto’o did is not something good but he took a punch first and it was provocation.
“But there’s four officials at the game and if they don’t think it deserves punishment then that’s it. He lost a bit of control, that’s clear.”
Lost control is an understament. Eto’o is a bit of a mentalist and no amount of provocation can excuse a headbutt. But the Cameroon striker showed his other side late in the game, when he scored a brilliant consolation solo goal: