Qatar removes Zidane headbutt statue

The statue, created by Algerian-born French artist Adel Abdessemed, was unveiled in Doha in early October. Credit: Reuters

Future World Cup hosts Qatar have decided to remove a statue of Zinedine Zidane's infamous headbutt on Italy's Marco Materazzi in the 2006 World Cup.

Officials have not commented on the reason for its removal, but the artwork, which was unveiled earlier this month, had stirred complaints from religious conservatives who argued it was wrong to honour Zidane's unsportsmanlike act.

Cranes were brought in this week and on Thursday the statue's site along Doha's waterfront was empty.