Second Italian dead after German World Cup row: police

BERLIN, July 6, 2010 (AFP) - Police hunting a German man suspected of shooting two Italians in a pub after a row about the World Cup said Tuesday that both victims were now dead.

Authorities in Hanover, northern Germany said they were searching for the man, a 42-year-old identified only as Holger B., after uncovering surveillance camera footage of the suspect withdrawing money just before the shoot-out.

The argument, which took place early on Monday morning, was apparently about the performances of Italy and Germany in past football World Cups, according to police.

But the bar banter turned deadly when B. left the pub, returned a short time later with a 9mm pistol and shot the two Italians in the head.

One of the victims, a 47-year-old, died mid-morning on Monday of his injuries in hospital. The other, 49, died later.

The two respective teams, Italy and Germany, have had very different experiences in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Italy came into the competition as one of the favourites after winning the 2006 World Cup but crashed out in the group stages after a humiliating loss to Slovakia.

The young German team stormed to the semi-finals, with a 4-1 win over England and a 4-0 humiliation of a strong Argentina team.

However, historically, Italy has won the World Cup more times than Germany, with four victories (1934, 1938, 1982, 2006) compared to three (1954, 1974, 1990).

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