Vandals black out World Cup

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The Independent Online
A pounds 10,000 REWARD was offered last night after vandals sabotaged power supplies and blanked out television coverage of the World Cup final for hundreds of thousands of soccer fans, writes Graham Moorby.

Viewers in southern England jammed switchboards at the BBC and ITV with complaints when the Brazil v Italy game went off air after half an hour and was not restored until 15 minutes before the end of full time. 'This has been a deliberate act of calculated vandalism,' Southern Electric said. 'We are offering a pounds 10,000 reward for information leading to a prosecution.' Hampshire police are investigating the sabotage at the Hannington transmitter near Basingstoke, Hampshire.

About 3,000 fans in Potters Bar, Hertfordshire, missed the vital penalty shoot-out after a fault with a 33,000-volt overhead power line. Homes in the area were plunged into darkness for up to an hour at about 11pm last night. Eastern Electricity was unable to say whether the fault on a power line between Barnet and Potters Bar was due to vandalism.

Up 6,000 Brazilian fans celebrated their side's victory by singing and dancing in London's Trafalgar Square. Scotland Yard said the celebrations were peaceful and good humoured.