Parrot picks Japan as WC winners

TOKYO: The United States will be left as sick as a parrot after Women’s World Cup final against Japan on Sunday, according to the latest soccer psychic from the animal kingdom.

Olivia, a 10-year-old grey parrot, has been impressing visitors at her enclosure in Tochigi Prefecture by perfectly predicting all six victories for Japan during the defence of their Women’s World Cup title in Canada. On Friday, perched on a tiny stage adorned with artificial grass, she shunned the stars and stripes and swiftly picked up the Japanese flag with her beak and gave it to her keeper to indicate who would win the showdown in Vancouver, Kyodo News reported on Friday.

Paul the Octopus became the doyenne of animal sports predictions when he correctly chose Spain to win the men’s 2010 WC from his tank in Germany, but his death shortly after the final left a void. Australia’s Flopsy the Kangaroo, Singapore’s Mani the parakeet and a Bern-based guinea pig Madame Shiva all came and went along with a host of others with Olivia the latest contender to the crown.

She is an old hand at predicting the future, having spent six years picking paper fortunes for visitors to the zoo and was on the money by offering that Japan would beat Switzerland, Cameroon, Ecuador, Netherlands, Australia and England in Canada. Olivia even hinted at the struggles Japan would face in Wednesday’ semi-final win over England, gifted to them after a late own goal, by twice picking up the English flag before dropping it and opting for Japan.