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Russia to win first World Cup match, says clairvoyant cat

AFP  |  Moscow 

Russia's team has failed to chalk up a single victory in eight months but things could be about to improve -- according to a supposedly clairvoyant cat who predicted a win for the side in the first match.

Achilles, a deaf white cat who is the official animal soothsayer for the tournament, on Wednesday chose a bowl of bearing the host's flag rather than that of Saudi Arabia, who will face on Thursday evening.

The blue-eyed feline is usually part of a team of dozens of cats that guard from rodents, but has taken on a new role for the event.

"Achilles is already used to the public and shouldn't be too stressed," said vet Anna Kondratyeva, who manages the animals.

The cat follows in the tentacle-prints of Paul the who became a star in 2010 after predicting winners for that year's by choosing one out of two boxes containing

Others have made a play to be the next Paul -- including Swiss guinea pig Madame Shiva in 2014 and British Piranha Pele -- but none quite had the mollusc's foresight.

Earlier in the day the of the Patriarch Kirill said he would pray for the national team to give a worthy performance.

The hosts, who take on in the Thursday curtainraiser, need all the moral support they can get as they come into the event without a win in seven games.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, June 13 2018. 22:20 IST
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