Michel Platini has admitted he “did a little tricky” with the 1998 World Cup group stage draw to try to guarantee hosts France and reigning champions Brazil would fulfil “everyone’s dream” by assembly within the ultimate.
Platini was a co-organiser of the 1998 event together with late French Football Federation president Fernand Sastre.
The former UEFA President told France Bleu he had had a hand in guaranteeing France and Brazil wouldn’t meet earlier than the ultimate if each certified prime of their sections within the group stage, which they finally did.
“That was everyone’s dream,” mentioned Platini, who’s at present serving a four-year ban from all soccer actitivies. “We did just a little tough. You need to organise the fixture listing. So, we did it in order that if France and Brazil have been first, they would not meet earlier than the ultimate. We have been at dwelling so we took benefit of issues.
“We did not bust our balls organising a World Cup for six years to not be capable to perform a little tough. You do not assume the others did not do this at different World Cups? Really?”
In line with the pre-published draw protocol, Brazil, as holders, have been positioned in Group A and completed prime regardless of shedding their ultimate group recreation to Norway having already crushed Scotland and Morocco.
France knew they’d be in Group C earlier than the group-stage draw was made, and gained all three matches in opposition to Denmark, South Africa and Saudi Arabia.
Both groups progressed to the ultimate the place France gained Three-Zero, notably thanks to 2 headed targets from Zinedine Zidane.
“It wasn’t troublesome: France in Group A [sic], Brazil in Group F [sic], no matter, I do not know. If they each completed prime, they could not meet earlier than the ultimate,” Platini said. “That’s all, it is easy.”
L’Equipe reported that Platini and Sastre had needed to go additional, citing Platini as saying: “We needed geographical decisions, that Italy play within the south, Spain in Toulouse or Bordeaux, the Netherlands in Lens. They did not hearken to us.”
“It’s the primary time the seeds will not be pre-placed [in groups],” Sastre had complained in 1997. Then-FIFA president Joao Havelange did, nevertheless, agree to permit Platini and Sastre to put Brazil and France within the teams they desired.
The sports activities each day additionally said the key groups on the 1994 World Cup, specifically Germany, Brazil and Italy, in addition to the hosts, the USA, had negotiated with organisers to have the ability to select the cities during which they’d play their group stage video games. Italy, for instance, performed all three group video games on the East Coast the place there’s a massive Italian-American inhabitants.
In 1990, the seeds have been put into teams by way of an computerized system primarily based on their ends in earlier World Cups, whereas in 2006, hosts Germany have been in Group A, champions Brazil in Group F, that means they might not face one another till the ultimate.
Since, solely the hosts have be predrawn during which group they may play.
FIFA are but to remark.
Information from the Associated Press was used on this report.