Football / World Cup USA '94: Bookies' nightmare

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THE nation wept yesterday as Britain's bookmakers described Sunday's Brazil-Italy final as 'the World Cup final from Hell'. William Hill's spokesman, Graham Sharpe, added: 'It is a nightmare final which will cost us pounds 1.5m, whoever wins.'

A Hong Kong restaurant owner landed the biggest single football bet ever, collecting pounds 165,000 after his pounds 115,000 stake on Brazil to beat Sweden in the semi-finals paid off.

A North London betting shop customer is poised to scoop at least pounds 106,000 whether Italy or Brazil win.

The Giants Stadium pitch yesterday went on sale at between dollars 10 ( pounds 6) and dollars 20 per square foot, depending on the size of the order. Pink Floyd arrive on Sunday.

Romania's team were feted as heroes, with flowers and flags, kisses and champagne, in a tumultuous carnival welcome in Bucharest yesterday. Women rushed to kiss Gheorghe Hagi and his team-mates amid shouts of 'Hagi is King, Maradona is out]'