Milan: Spanish Prime Minister Jose Zapatero has jokingly offered state protection for Paul, the psychic octopus, who has received death threats from German fans over his World Cup predictions.
Paul, from Aquarium Sea Life Centre in Oberhausen, Germany, had predicted the outcome of all six of Germany’s matches, including the 1-0 semi-final loss to Spain, by choosing to eat food from boxes adorned with the flags of Germany and its rivals.
Now Spain’s politicians are worried that some German fans may take their “revenge” on the octopus for their team’s exit.
“I am concerned for the octopus ... I am thinking of sending him a protective team,” a website quoted Zapatero, as saying.
Spanish Environment and Fisheries Minister, Elena Espinosa, suggested a moratorium on going after Paul.
“On Monday, I shall be at the European Council of Ministers and I shall be asking for a [fishing] ban on Paul the octopus so the Germans do not eat him,” Elena said.
The threat to Paul’s life has escalated after some sections of the German fans were spotted singing anti-octopus songs.
According to a local newspaper, there have been “a host of comments on Facebook, Twitter ... suggesting Paul should be fried, barbecued or turned into a seafood salad or paella”.
“Others wanted to throw him into the shark tank,” the paper added.
Major predictions, which came true in this World Cup, have been in the Germany-England Round of 16 clash and Germany-Argentina quarterfinal game. Paul had chosen Germany``s flag on both the occasions.
If the eight-limbed oracle survives the threats, fans would be thinking twice about dismissing his advice in future.