YK Poudel    

With Bhutan Football Federation (BFF) screening every game on a giant digital screen at the volleyball court at Changlimithang, the cold winter in Thimphu does not bother the fans gathered to cheer their teams.

Many have predicted different countries to win the 22nd edition of the World Cup hosted by Qatar.

Over the years, a variety of animals have been claimed to have a highly unique ability to foretell the results of World Cup games, from prescient pandas and clairvoyant camels to one very famous oracular octopus.

Joshua Bull, a mathematical modeller from the University of Oxford and the winner of 2020 Fantasy Football Competition, applying his modelling skills predicted that Brazil will defeat Argentina in the semi-finals, and Belgium will win over France.

As per his predictions, Brazil will be the champions of World Cup 2022 defeating Belgium with 61.3 percent win ratio.

FIFA 23, the widely popular video games franchise, has simulated all 64 games to determine the winning possibility using “HyperMotion2 Technology” and FIFA World Cup 2022 ratings has picked Argentina as the winner.

A new soothsaying celebrity emerges with each World Cup, ready to steal the show with their “skills”—with different degrees of success.

Achilles the cat, a 2018 FIFA World Cup animal oracle, predicts the result between Brazil and Costa Rica as the fourth correct prediction.

In 2014, Gulf News created a video series of Shaheen the Camel predicting World Cup matches.

Paul the octopus, was a 2010 FIFA World Cup animal oracle. During divinations, Paul’s keepers would present him with two food-containing boxes with flags of the teams playing the upcoming match. The box from which Paul ate first would be the prediction to win the match. It predicted eight games correctly.

The standings in the last eighthmatches played as of 1am today: Qatar 0 Ecuador 2, England 6 Iran 2, Senegal 0 Netherlands 2, USA 1 Wales 1, Argentina 1 Saudi Arabia 2, Denmark 0 and Tunisia 0, Mexico 0 Poland 0, France 4 Australia 1.

Bukayo Saka (England), Enner Valencia (Ecuador), Mehdi Taremi (Iran) Olivier Giroud (France) have scored two goals each.

Morocco and Croatia will play the ninth match of the group stage today at 4pm BST.