If you were watching the Japan vs Belgium match yesterday, you may have predicted Belgium would win. But the first 70 minutes of the game would have convinced you otherwise.
Japan could have been the only qualifying Asian team this Fifa World Cup in 2018, and in the knockout match with Belgium yesterday, the odds looked good for them. With a 2-0 lead for the first 70-odd minutes, the team had more than enough predictions of winning.
But that prediction went wrong - horribly wrong. Belgium stole the match in the last 18 minutes of the game, and it seemed like Japan almost threw the match, and the reason behind that may lie with - an octopus.
An octopus, with seemingly "psychic" powers, that had correctly predicted the results of all three previous Japan’s soccer World Cup group stage games, had become something of a national sensation.
The giant Pacific octopus named 'Rabiot,' was caught in Obira in Hokkaido district, and had correctly predicted the win against Colombia, the draw with Senegal, and the loss with Poland.
The method of it making its predictions involved being placed in a pool with three different baskets of food representing winning, losing and a draw. Whichever Rabiot swam to first, was the outcome of the match.
However, Rabiot didn't get to make the prediction for yesterday's match.
Local Japanese media reported that Kimio Abe, the fisherman who had caught Rabiot, had decided that his business was more important than keeping the “psychic” octopus alive for the knockout stages.
So Rabiot was unfortunately killed, chopped and sent to the market, just as the knockout stages of the tournament got underway.
Could this be the real reason Japan lose the match in the way it did, yesterday? Twitter seems to believe so. Buried between the memes of Japan's loss which eliminated them from the World Cup, are some gems which harp on this fact.
"Local media reported that Kimio Abe, the fisherman who had caught Rabiot, had decided that his business was more important than keeping the “psychic” octopus alive for the knockout stages." Smh. No wonder Japan lost after having a 2 goal lead. https://t.co/Y1V2uXZtgV — Paul R. Cherrington 🇺🇸🍒 (@paulcherrington) July 2, 2018
“Oh mighty psychic octopus, who shall be victorious in today’s match?” “Belgium.” pic.twitter.com/k1DhUh2tsj — Matt Deal (@Real_Deal71) July 2, 2018
Much to their surprise, everyone who ate some of him, suddenly knew the name of the next World Cup winner. — Melissa (@lucidikey) July 2, 2018
...and Japan was immediately eliminated. pic.twitter.com/DPBcUU4RJR — Hannibal Lecter🌊 (@Humanitarian66) July 3, 2018
In a way, it was almost poetic. Rabiot was gutted, sold and eaten before he made the one prediction that turned out to be the most important and fatal of all - sending Japan straight out of the World Cup.
Rabiot isn't the first or only psychic animal doing the rounds this Fifa World Cup, though. Earlier in 2010, an octopus called Paul became something of an international star after correctly predicting the results of all Germany’s games in the 2010 World Cup, as well as the final – in which it backed Spain to win. Its method was very similar to Rabiot, and involved eating food daubed with the colors of opposing teams.
This year, there has been another star other than Rabiot - a deaf cat named Achilles, who correctly predicted the result of three out of four matches in last year’s tournament, according to a report in Sports Illustrated.
Will psychic animals dominate sports for the years to come? Only time may tell. But for now, lets hope that animals like Rabiot are given more importance in life, than in death.
JUSTICE FOR RABIOT — Lauren Naturale (@lnaturale) July 2, 2018