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World Cup winners- a Billion pound bet

Though England seem to be far away from holding the World Cup trophy but it has'nt stopped British bookmakers from taking a 50 million pounds hammering should they do so.

india Updated: Jun 30, 2006 20:08 IST

England's performances at the World Cup may not have convinced many that they are capable of winning the trophy but it will not stop British bookmakers from taking a 50 million pounds hammering should they do so.

Mike Dillon, Public Relations Director of Ladbrokes, told AFP yesterday that despite being a proud Englishman if it came to the day of the final and England were in it he knows what result he would prefer.

"I would rather want them to lose," said Dillon, allowing his head to overrule his heart.

Dillon added that the team that would be a big winner should they go all the way was not surprisingly 40/1 outsiders Ukraine but instead a team with a blueblood pedigree in the tournament.

"Italy would be the best result for the industry," said Dillon, who will be hoping they progress at Ukraine's expense today in Hamburg.

Dillon revealed that this World Cup and the amount bet on it didn't bear comparison even with the one in 2002.

"One billion pounds has been bet on this World Cup, not just with us but with the industry as a whole," he said.

"Why so much more than previous World Cups? Because now you can bet in play so to speak. That is to say, in the past most bets on the World Cup were placed prior to the tournament and people sat back and watched it.

"Now with the ability to bet in play you can have a bet with 10 minutes remaining of the match or even closer to the end. In short there is a market for everything.

"One of the most popular is the number of red and yellow cards issued during a match.