Fri, May 05, 2006 - Page 23 News List

England supporter buys World Cup trauma insurance

AFP , LONDON

An England supporter has taken out a £1 million (US$1.75 million) insurance policy against England suffering early elimination from the World Cup.

Newcastle United fan Paul Hucker, 34, paid £105 for the policy with britishinsurance.com against an occurrence that he said would leave him psychologically traumatized.

However, for Hucker's policy to mature, he must prove both that England's exit from the World Cup in Germany from June 9-July 9 is premature and that he subsequently suffered trauma.

Although he stands to win a huge sum of money, Hucker denied he is hoping for Sven-Goran Eriksson's team to bow out early.

"I am very optimistic and patriotic and suffering from depression and psychological trauma is not something that I want," Hunter said.

Proving either one of the two conditions for his policy to mature will not be easy. On the first, a panel of five experts must a agree that England's exit was premature.

On the second, though, Hunter will have to demonstrate with medical evidence that he has suffered a real shock to his morale rather than a mere state of depression.

Hunter claimed he took the policy because of England's repeated failures in international competitions despite starting out among the favorites.

England bowed out at the quarter-final stage at the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea, the same stage at which they were eliminated in the 2004 European Championships in Portugal.

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