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Soccer: Materazzi rapped for Berlusconi mask

Defender escapes fine for 'Carnival gag'

26 January, 15:15
Soccer: Materazzi rapped for Berlusconi mask (ANSA) - Milan, January 26 - Inter Milan defender Marco Materazzi was rapped Tuesday for wearing a Carnival mask of Italian Premier and AC Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi in an on-field celebration of Inter's 2-0 win against Milan Sunday.

Materazzi escaped a fine or a ban but was given a formal warning not to repeat such pranks.

On Monday the defender said there was "no political meaning" in his jape and "no intention of offending anyone".

He said he was sure Berlusconi, noted for his sense of humour, hadn't taken offence.

"Berlusconi is a person who loves making fun of himself and I'm certain he smiled when he saw me".

"I reckon he liked the gag," said the defender, who stressed he had celebrated under the Inter stand and not where Milan players and fans were.

Interior Minister and AC fan Roberto Maroni, who has led a crackdown on hooliganism, made light of the stunt Monday but Defence Minister Ignazio La Russa, an Inter fan, said Materazzi should apologise to Berlusconi.

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