England 2018 World Cup bid team hires Octopus Paul
The octopus that grabbed fame by predicting correctly the result of each of Germany's matches at this year's World Cup has switched allegiance to England. Paul has been appointed as an ambassador to England's bid to host the 2018 World Cup.india Updated: Aug 21, 2010 00:40 IST
The octopus that grabbed fame by predicting correctly the result of each of Germany's matches at this year's World Cup has switched allegiance to England.
Paul has been appointed as an ambassador to England's bid to host the 2018 World Cup.
Germany beat England 4-1 in the second round of the World Cup in the most recent installment of the nations' ongoing
football rivalry, but the switch is a natural one for Paul.
Although he became famous by calling Germany's results and the Spain-Netherlands final from an aquarium in
Oberhausen, Germany, Paul is English born.
He hatched at Weymouth Sea Life Center on England's south coast in 2008.
"Paul has spent the last two years of his life in Germany but he is definitely a proud Englishman,'' Weymouth Sea Life
Center manager Nicola Hamilton said.
"We have had a number of football approaches from around the world but Paul was only ever going to choose his
With his eight tentacles, Paul is more adept at shaking hands than sweet-talking FIFA's 24-man executive committee
which will vote in December on which nation gets to host the tournament.
But his role is simply to bring extra publicity to a country competing with the United States, Russia and joint
bids by Belgium-Netherlands and Spain-Portugal.
"Paul the Octopus is undoubtedly one of the biggest names in football," former England winger John Barnes said. "Huge
numbers of people will follow Paul's lead and back the bid."
Paul's World Cup success garnered huge attention, with footage of him making predictions by choosing which of two
mussels to devour appearing on television worldwide. Paul made his choice by opening the lid of one of two clear plastic
boxes, each bearing the flag of one of the teams and containing a mussel.
Imitators sprang up all over the world, including Mani the parakeet in Singapore and Lorenzo the parrot in Hannover,
The latest is a saltwater crocodile named Dirty Harry, who predicted Spain's World Cup final win and this week called
the result of Australia's general election by snatching a chicken carcass dangling beneath a caricature of Prime
Minister Julia Gillard.
But Paul has stopped short of predicting that England will host the World Cup for the first time since 1966. After
his uncanny run of World Cup success, Paul retired from the role of octopus oracle.
First Published: Aug 20, 2010 20:54 IST