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DATELINE WORLD CUP 2002 / ENGLAND

Patriotic Fans Have Bookies on the Run

June 09, 2002|Dan Loumena

British bookmakers lost millions of dollars to patriotic soccer fans Friday following England's 1-0 defeat of Argentina.

Bookies slashed England's odds of winning the tournament minutes after the match. Ladbrokes reduced England's odds from 16-1 to 7-1, while William Hill cut them from 14-1 to 8-1.

"We made England the underdogs for this game, but [bettors] refused to contemplate defeat," Ladbrokes spokesman Sean Boyce said. "We're now in the process of paying out literally hundreds of thousands of winning bets."

Italy remains an 11-4 favorite with Ladbrokes, followed by Brazil (3-1), Spain (6-1), England and France (8-1).

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