Headbutts notwithstanding, the most harmonious World Cup in history has ended, leaving a final body count of
78 79. The deadliest event of the entire cup took place in Burundi, where seven people died after police hurled a grenade and opened fire into a crowd of celebrants who were setting off fireworks. Burundi now stands second only to China as the country with the most World Cup fatalities. China had eleven deaths, although no new fatalities were reported there since the last update. The entire nation is reported to now be experiencing a post-Cup hangover.
But the spate of Asian heart attacks continued, even without China's participation. In Thailand, yet another fan expired of heart failure while watching the final. Tragically, a ten year old boy in England also died while watching the final, although the cause of his death is till unknown. And in Montpelier, the fifth French World Cup death was reported, when a young man was stabbed in the neck during an outdoor viewing of the France-Portugal game. In Salerno, Italy, a sixteen year old boy was killed when the car he was leaning out of (waving the flag) crashed and rolled over. And there was another flag-related death in Italy, when a 77 year old man fell while trying to attach a flag to a pole prior to the final game.
A 30 year old member of the Italian crime gang Camorra was shot to death by a rival gang members riding motorbikes, as he came out of hiding to celebrate Italy's victory in Naples. A 21 year old man in Barbados was also killed while celebrating the Italian victory, after being stabbed in the neck. An argument over the final match also prompted one Ugandan man to hack another to death with a machete. "Now I have come to finish your life. Never play with veterans. We kill anything," the murderer was reported to have said during the killing.
And so it ends, unless Germany's own "Mister World Cup" dies of his self inflicted gunshot wounds. He is currently on life support. Should he die, the count would rise to 79. But either way, Don from Pennsylvania's guess of 79 deaths, made on June 8th makes him the most accurate forecaster of World Cup fatalities, and he shall be so honored. Contact me, Don - at ken at wfmu dot org. UPDATE: Juergen Kiessling, Berlin's Mister World Cup has died of his self-inflicted gunshot wounds, raising the death count to 79.
It's a good thing this was such a calm, sedate, well organized World Cup. Otherwise, there could have been far more deaths. As it was, there was none of the anticipated hooligan violence, as England and Germany gave the world a sneak preview of the preemptive police work which we will surely be seeing more of in the future. Not that this is a bad thing! Because if there's one thing the world needs more of, it's hooligans. And now the hooligans who would have died during the Cup are free to procreate, and create more hooligans. So the story does have a happy ending. Here is Bill Hicks on the subject: [download MP3]
Thanks to Evan and Dave and everybody else who mailed in tips and death threats for the last month. See you in South Africa in 2010!