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Wacky World Cup bets get punters going [Copy Link]

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Wacky World Cup bets get punters going

Drugs scandals, shark attacks, head-butting, insults, stamping on someone's genitals and the appearance of Jesus Christ: these are just some of the things which can be bet on at the World Cup.

British bookmakers -- who are predicting they will handle a record-breaking one billion pounds (1.2 billion euros, 1.4 billion dollars) on the tournament -- are taking bets on all manner of bizarre events in South Africa.

Of course, bets will be placed on who will win the tournament, with Spain the favourites.

But others want to put their money on who will get sent off first, who will commit the most fouls and who volatile Argentina manager Diego Maradona will insult first.

The tournament gets underway on Friday when hosts South Africa take on Mexico.

But what will be the first goal celebration?

A badge kiss is the 5/2 favourite, followed by somersaults at 4/1, taking the shirt off at 9/2, a prayer to God at 7/1, then "stand there and do nothing" at 9/1.

"The Robbie Fowler: sniffing the white line" is the outsider at 150/1, according to Paddy Power.

Which team will be the first to celebrate by revealing a Jesus Christ t-shirt?

Brazil are the favourites at 15/2, followed by Italy and Argentina at 9/1 then Spain at 12/1. North Korea are the outsiders at 1,000/1.

Spain's David Villa at 9/2 is the favourite to be the first player to bless himself after scoring a goal in Durban's Moses Mabhida stadium, followed by team-mate Fernando Torres.

However, the bets are also on for when football gets a little more unholy.

In the stakes for who or what Maradona will insult first, a match official is 11/8, followed by South Africa at 2/1, the media at 3/1 and FIFA or its president Sepp Blatter at 8/1.

He is only 9/1 to get sent off.

Chile are 16/1 favourites to be the first team to fail a drugs test, followed by Mexico, South Africa and Argentina at 18/1, then Ivory Coast and Paraguay at 20/1.

France striker Thierry Henry, whose handball helped Les Bleus beat Ireland and qualify for the tournament, is 100/1 to score with his hand.

French playmaker Zinedine Zidane was infamously sent off in the last World Cup final, and a player getting sent off for head-butting this time around is deemed more likely than not at 8/13.

Argentina's Javier Mascherano (6/1) and Gabriel Heinze (9/1) are favourites to commit the most fouls, followed by Brazil captain Lucio and England's John Terry at 10/1.

On the receiving end, Argentina's Lionel Messi is 4/6 to be fouled the most, then Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo at 5/2 and England's Wayne Rooney at 10/3.

The first England player to be sent off is tipped to be John Terry at 15/2, then Rooney at 10/1, with Gareth Barry 18/1.

Rooney is 150/1 to stamp on someone's genitals -- surely a red card offence.

But also at 150/1 is for Steven Gerrard to forget he is not playing for Liverpool and accidentally set up club colleague Torres for a winning goal should England play Spain.

The classic way for England to finish their campaign is with a draw followed by a penalty shoot-out defeat and the merciless lambasting by the media of anyone missing their spot kick.

Jermain Defoe is the 9/1 favourite to miss the last kick if England are eliminated, followed by Lampard, Gerrard and James Milner at 10/1.

But if the football is not entertaining enough, you can always take a punt on off-the-field matters.

There are bets available on former South African president Nelson Mandela, including the number of different shirts he will wear, the number of matches he will attend, and the number he will wear on a replica jersey.

Even more bizarrely, fans can bet on the number of shark attacks during the tournament, with none deemed most likely at 10/11, one at 4/5 and two at 12/1.
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