The World Cup is a matter of days away now, which means a steady stream of psychic animals continue to join the roster of football prognosticators. Today, it's a pair of camels.
We’ve already read about China's gang of baby pandas, and then there was Germany's Nelly the elephant, all vying for a chance to replace Paul the Octopus as the game's oracle creature. Now, Dubai-based Gulf News that the newest members of the club are Shaheen and Waslawi, a pair of wise camels.
The National’s Anna Zacharias and Paul Radley report that the owner of the camels, Matar Al Jabri, is “football-obsessed” and loves the Al Wasl football team, based in Dubai. Waslawi the camel chose Croatia to beat Brazil in the first game, which will take place on Thursday in Sao Paulo. (Since Brazil is favored to win the whole thing, that's a pretty bold leap.) They also chose the Netherlands to beat Spain on Friday, Portugal to beat Germany on Monday, and England to draw with Uruguay next Thursday.
Video from Gulf News.
The camels chose their winners by eating a pile of mushed up dates next to the flag of their choosing. However, Al Jabri remains dubious about this method, as well as the ability of camels to make such precious predictions. “They are camels, not humans,” he told The National. “Camels don’t understand football. It’s an animal, not a person.” Still, no point the ruining what has now become as integral a part of the World Cup as football songs and chants.
Correction: This story has been updated to include attribution to Gulf News.