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WORLD CUP SHOCK: England declared winner in 2-1 defeat to Italy

Software challenge to official score line could save Rooney from axe

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Spud-faced footie ace Wayne Rooney may not face the chop – after England was declared the WINNER in its World Cup opening match against Italy.

The quick-tempered, woodwork-bothering Liverpudlian's fate was said to be hanging in the balance after the Italians scored two goals to England's one on Saturday night.

Even though he set up Daniel Sturridge to find the back of the net and herald the arrival of the Three Lions in Brazil, Rooney got a kicking from pundits after the game – which England technically lost if one follows the official rules laid down by football's governing body Fifa.

But new technology has proved England actually won the match, no doubt boosting the morale of Steven Gerrard's team. Just like goal-line cameras are disrupting the role of referees in the beautiful game, now too a computer-science breakthrough is set to smash the very core of the sport's rules.

We're reliably informed England beat Italy 53 to 47, an outcome that no doubt piles more pressure on Fifa, which is already fending off allegations of corruption.

Those figures are, you'll be shocked to read, are the percentages of total Twitter activity generated by supporters of each side. England fans, we've learned, proved to be much more socially needy than their Italian cousins.

So says the huge brains at the preposterously dubbed "leading social innovation agency" Harkable, which has created an app that calculates which side generates the most Twitter traffic during World Cup 2014 clashes.

"Which fans sing the loudest?" it asks, presumably equating the rather craven act of sofa-bound tweeting with the noble pursuit of witty terrace chanting.

"Harkable created the app to track how much noise football fans (by nation) are making on Twitter during the World Cup," the biz told us. "The app sifted through the 7.2 million tweets that occurred during the game on Saturday and will monitor all others up to and including the final on July 13."

To decide on who has won the game, Harkable analyses "hashflags" like #england, #italy or, presumably, #thereferee'sawanker to decide which is being used the most. Just like so much of the modern media, whoever tweeteth the most, winneth the game. Isn't victory sweet? No? ®

Bootnote

El Reg's backbench is still chuckling away at this cracking New York Post headline after USA and England drew 1-1 at the World Cup in 2010.

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