Computer Says Brazil (or Argentina) Is Full of Far Eastern Promise

Article excerpt

After mounting injury worries and the Roy Keane (left) affair, scientists yesterday gave England and Ireland fans even less to cheer about - predicting that a South American team will win the World Cup.

Researchers at the University of Ulster made the claim after carrying out statistical analysis of every match taking place in Japan and South Korea over the next month.

A focus group of football supporters plumped for England's traditional World Cup nemesis, Argentina, to win the coveted prize while computer simulation saw Brazil come out on top.

Dr Peter O'Donoghue, a lecturer in sports studies and a Coventry City fan, said: 'The result of our research is a classic case of head versus heart, number crunching against subjective judgment.

'It will be interesting to see how the tournament pans out and whether the human brain or the computer is the best way of analysing such unpredictable contests as a World Cup.'

The scientists used two main methods of determining which two teams would reach the final in Yokohama, Japan, on June 30.

In the first, a 'pools panel' gave their verdict on every match using information such as the quality of teams, previous results and even the state of England captain David Beckham's broken metatarsal. …