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From the 12th man

By | July 10th 2010

Omulo Okoth

There is too much superstition in football. Most African teams have a ‘research’ department whose work is mainly black magic.

Many African teams travel abroad with their magicians to help in winning matches. How that works only footballers and their managers can explain.

Now Germans have emerged with the oracle octopus Paul who has accurately picked the outcome of all six of Germany’s World Cup matches so far, including the semi-final match, which Germany lost to Spain.

Football fans are now attributing Germany’s pedestrian performance against the Matadors on Wednesday to fear-filled atmosphere after octopus Paul predicted the former world champions would lose.

Octopus Paul has now predicted that Spain would beat the Netherlands tomorrow (Sunday).

Yet, another prediction has emerged from Singapore where a parrot, they call it a Parakeet, has predicted that the Netherlands would beat Spain to win the World Cup. So which of the two should we rely on?

At the end of the day, football is played on the pitch and the better team always win. An element of luck, which has also been dismissed as superstition, also plays a part.

But what is surprising is that even European teams are affected by what has been thought to be an African phenomenon.

Fans have their way of explaining situations to justify their teams’ failure. So fanatical German fans, who argue that Spain should not have run rings around them as they did, are insisting that this octopus Paul sent shivers down their spine after predicting their defeat.

Fifa could use this octopus Paul to detect match fixes. There are some goals that ought not to have passed goalkeepers and fear abound that some victories had more than met the eye.

Germany should quickly dismiss Uruguay today to get the consolation bronze medals.

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