Friday, June 30, 2006

Elephants Get World Cup Fever Too

The mighty "Elephants" of the Ivory Coast may have departed the World Cup in Germany, but with the tournament about to enter its quarter final stage, a group of the giants in Thailand are still in the grip of football fever. At a tourist park outside the city of Chiang Mai, the eight, quick-footed elephants have had their faces painted in the colours of Germany, Italy, Spain and Brazil and are competing in a fortnight long tournament. The rules of their brand of football are very simple, the organiser explained. While one member of the elephant duo stands in goal the other attacks using either its front or rear feet to kick the jumbo-sized ball. "We had elephant football matches during the previous World Cup four years ago, and we found tourists really like it," the camp's director Anchalee Kalmapichit said. Let's hope they behave with a little more decorum than some of the teams in the real tournament have done in recent days.

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