Zidane makes apology for headbutt
Zinedine Zidane has apologised for the headbutt on Italy's Marco Materazzi which earned him a red card in Sunday's World Cup final penalty shoot-out loss.
The France legend did not reveal what Materazzi said, but claimed it was "very personal" and concerned his mother and his sister.
"I want to ask for forgiveness from all the children who watched," Zidane said.
Materazzi responded to the French TV interview with a statement again denying insulting Zidane's mother.
Italian defender Materazzi, who scored the equaliser on Sunday, said: "I didn't mention anything about religion, politics or racism.
"I didn't insult his mother. I lost my mother when I was 15 years old and still get emotional when I talk about it.
"Naturally, I didn't know that his mother was in hospital but I wish her all the best.
"Zidane is my hero and I have always admired him a lot."
Zidane was sent off for headbutting Materazzi in the chest in the second period of extra-time in the final in Berlin.
He appeared on French TV station Canal Plus to explain his actions.
Zidane refused to say sorry to Materazzi and said he did not regret what he did after being provoked by the insults.
He said: "There was no excuse for it. I want to be open and honest about it."
But Zidane, who was playing in his final game before quitting football, added: "You hear those things once and you try to walk away.
"That's what I wanted to do because I am retiring. You hear it a second time and then a third time.
"They were very hard words and he repeated them several times. Sometimes words are harder than gestures. It all happened very quickly and the words hurt me deep down."
"This was not something to do. I want to make it clear because it was watched by two billion people and by millions of kids.
"I want to apologise to them but I can't regret what I did because it would mean that he (Materazzi) was right to say what he said."
Since the incident, rumours have run rife about what Materazzi said to provoke such a reaction from the Frenchman.
There were claims the Italian had called Zidane a "terrorist", but in Tuesday's edition of the Italian newspaper La Gazetta dello Sport, Materazzi said: "It was the kind of insult you will hear dozens of times and just slips out of the ground.
"I didn't call Zidane a terrorist and certainly didn't mention his mother.
"I did not bring up Zidane's mother; for me a mother is sacred."
Zidane, who was born and grew up in Marseille, is the son of Algerian immigrants and has suffered taunts about his heritage throughout his football career.
The two players initially clashed in the Italian penalty area before words were exchanged.
Materazzi said: "I held his shirt, for only a few seconds.
"He turned towards me and scoffed at me, looking at me with super arrogance, up and down.
"He said 'if you really want my shirt, you can have it later.' It's true, I shot back with an insult."
Fifa is to investigate Zidane's sending-off while Fifa president Sepp Blatter has hinted the France star could be stripped of his World Cup best player award.