President Jacques Chirac has described Zinedine Zidane’s head-butt in the World Cup final “unacceptable”.

The French captain, playing his final match before retirement, was sent off for thrusting his head into Italian defender Marco Materazzi’s chest in Sunday’s World Cup final in Berlin.

“His gesture was not acceptable,” Chirac said. “That is obvious. He said so with great courage.”

Zidane apologized to children in an interview on Wednesday, but said he did not regret the incident because Materazzi had insulted his mother and sister.

Materazzi has admitted insulting Zidane, but denied that he insulting his mother.

“What is certain is that, for a man like Zidane – a man balanced in all respects – to have this type of reaction, there had to be something,” Chirac added.

Chirac met Zidane on Monday at a team reception and called the French captain “a virtuoso, a genius of world football.”