'Psychic' lion in Khon Kaen a Euro predictions ace
'Boy' boasts four correct calls in football tourney to date, likes Scotland over England
published : 18 Jun 2021 at 18:34
KHON KAEN: Move over Paul the Octopus, Thailand has a new claimant to the football forecasting crown: Boy the “psychic” lion, who has so far correctly called four Euro 2020 matches.
The five-year-old white lion, who lives at the Khon Kaen Zoo, makes his predictions by grabbing meat marked with national flags from a wire above his pen.
His oracular exploits recall the cephalopod Paul, the salty seer who achieved global fame by correctly predicting eight 2010 World Cup matches from his aquarium in Germany.
Boy has notched four successes in the first round of matches, including world champions and tournament favourites France clawing their way 1-0 past Germany on Wednesday.
He also forecast the win by the “Three Lions” of England over Croatia, Holland’s narrow victory over Ukraine and Cristiano Ronaldo-led Portugal’s demolition of Hungary.
The only knock to Boy’s pride so far has been Spain’s unexpected goalless draw against Sweden, which he called for Luis Enrique’s three-time champions.
The tournament was postponed from 2020 to this year because of the pandemic, and the delay seems to have helped Boy find some form with his forecasts.
“He previously predicted other football matches (in the English Premier League), but the predictions were not accurate,” Obkaew Janpatun of Khon Kaen Zoo told AFP.
“Accurate predictions only emerged recently.”
For Friday’s main event, the Wembley grudge match between England and Scotland — the oldest, most played fixture in international football — Boy initially seemed to indicate a draw was on the cards.
When he leaped at the meat, both the English and Scottish portions appeared to fall together, but VAR had other ideas.
After reviewing the video footage, zoo observers ruled that he had made a clear grab at the Scots’ meat first, suggesting joy for the Tartan Army. Fans can tune in at 2am Saturday Thailand time to see if he was right.
Looking ahead to the weekend, he foresaw wins for France over Hungary and for Germany against Portugal.
And the big cat has given footballing giants Italy pause for thought by predicting a huge upset in the form of victory for Wales in Rome on Sunday.
A raft of so-called psychic animals making sporting and political predictions have captivated attention in recent years.
In Australia, Muscles the Mystic saltwater crocodile tipped Joe Biden to beat Donald Trump in last year’s US presidential election.
A stray cat named “Baidian’er”, which prowled the Palace Museum in Beijing’s Forbidden City, called the outcome of six 2018 World Cup games before its death.
And in Japan, an octopus named Rabio correctly predicted the outcome of three of the Samurai Blue’s World Cup matches.