A Shanghai aquarium hosts a fish World Cup complete with a fish referee, although the fishy players fail to score. Roselle Chen reports.
REPORTER: Two teams of fish face off over fish food. It's all part of a fish World Cup stunt in a Shanghai aquarium planned to coincide with the start of the real soccer tournament in Brazil. Twenty-three fish split up into teams and a referee swam around in a specially designed tank, covered with plastic grass and complete with goal posts, corner flags, penalty areas and a large lump of feed as the ball. The cichlid fish in yellow and blue were chosen for the match because they tend to swim near the bottom of the tank, according to staff at the Shanghai Ocean Aquarium. One fish with black and white stripes served as the referee because of its aggressive personality. Aquarium marketing director, Yang Yong, explains.
YANG YONG: "It is equivalent to the referee in a soccer match, because this fish is territorial. When some other fish swims past, it will drive them away. When it chases after them, this is the same as a referee running after a player who commits a foul and showing him a yellow or red card."
REPORTER: The fish were unable to move the "ball," which was as big as they were, and the match ended nil-nil. Two scuba divers also got into the World Cup mood, kicking a ball around one of the aquarium's huge walk-through tanks.
Lots of useful football vocabulary in this report. Also see my World Cup crossword.