Pulse.com.gh logo
Go


Football Platini admits 'skulduggery' to rig 1998 World Cup draw

Disgraced Michel Platini has sensationally admitted to a "little skulduggery" in rigging the draw to ensure Brazil and France could not meet until the final of the 1998 World Cup, where he was organising committee president.

  • Published:
Sepp Blatter ran the World Cup draw in the Velodrome in Marseille in 1997. play

Sepp Blatter ran the World Cup draw in the Velodrome in Marseille in 1997.

(AFP/File)

Disgraced Michel Platini has sensationally admitted to a "little skulduggery" in rigging the draw to ensure Brazil and France could not meet until the final of the 1998 World Cup, where he was organising committee president.

"We organised the schedule so, if we finished first in our group and Brazil first in theirs, the teams could not meet before the final," France great Platini told Radio Bleu Sport in an interview to be broadcast on Sunday, highlights of which the station tweeted on Friday.

The revelation comes at a time when Platini is banned from football for receiving a "disloyal payment" of two million Swiss francs (1.7 million euros, $2 million) when he was head of UEFA from disgraced former FIFA president Sepp Blatter.

The draw took place in Marseille on December 4, 1997 and was presided over by FIFA's then-general secretary: Blatter.

"Look, we were at home, you have to make the most of things, we weren't going to go through the bother of six years organising the World Cup if we could not pull off a few little tricks," said Platini, a former midfield star for Saint Etienne, Juventus and France. "Do you think other hosts didn't do the same at their World Cups?"

A France-Brazil final "was everyone's dream", said Platini.

Brazil were placed in Group A and France in Group C, ensuring they wouldn't meet until the final, as long as both won their group.

'European conspiracy'

Not everyone was happy with the fairly transparent plan, though.

At the time, the selection process of top seeds for the eight groups had provoked accusations of a "European conspiracy" by then-Brazil coach Mario Zagallo.

Following frantic negotiations behind the scenes, six European countries and two South Americans -- Brazil and Argentina -- were picked, with Africans Nigeria missing out.

Ahead of the draw, Zagallo had complained that French organisers would "do everything to ensure Brazil are not world champions", insisting the seeding process was fixed to ensure the Selecao would face two European sides in the group stages: they drew Norway and Scotland, as well as Morocco -- a fairly easy draw by anyone's standards.

But their bitter rivals Argentina drew the only group with just one European team, Croatia, as well as Jamaica and Japan.

France got Denmark, South Africa and Saudi Arabia, finished top and then beat Paraguay, Italy (on penalties) and Croatia on route to the final, playing both their quarter-final and semi-final at the Stade de France national stadium where the title-decider would also be held.

Brazil won their group and beat Chile, Denmark and the Netherlands (on penalties) before losing the final 3-0 to France.

While teams had been allocated to specific groups at previous tournaments, it had typically been to keep apart countries from the same continental federation.

At Italia 1990, when there were just 24 teams in six groups of four, the top seeds were assigned in an way that kept Italy in Rome and had the added bonus for organisers that England, and their notorious fans, were isolated on Sardinia.

England were placed in the "London group" at both the 1966 World Cup and Euro 96, ensuring they would play all their games at Wembley.

Do you ever witness news or have a story that should be featured on Pulse Ghana?
Submit your stories, pictures and videos to us now via WhatsApp: +233507713497, Social Media @pulseghana: #PulseEyewitness & DM or Email: eyewitness@pulse.com.gh.

Recommended Articles

Recommended Videos




Top Articles

1 #MourinhoOut Man United fan starts GoFundMe to raise £12 million for...bullet
2 Photos Countryman Songo gets Doctorate Degreebullet
3 Football 'We made incredible mistakes': Mourinho fumes as United crashbullet
4 Brazil Legendary Ronaldinho pays glowing tribute to Kofi Annanbullet
5 Ghanaian Players Abroad Thomas Partey sets record in Super Cupbullet
6 La Liga Real Madrid experience worst attendance in ten years...bullet
7 Football FIFA made a mistake awarding Messi the Golden Ball-...bullet
8 Afcon Qualifier Ayews, Asamoah Gyan dropped from Black...bullet
9 Trolls The look on Man United’s Vice-Chairman, Ed...bullet
10 Ghanaian Players Abroad Christian Atsu dropped from...bullet

Top Videos

1 Video Kevin-Prince Boateng launches rap career ahead of Serie A campaignbullet
2 Watch Kwadwo Asamoah's wonderful assist as Inter pip Atleticobullet
3 Anas Aremeyaw Anas finally takes off beads on TVbullet
4 Video Andre Ayew jams to Kwami Eugene’s hit songbullet
5 Seedorf and Kluivert unveiled as the new Cameroon coachesbullet
6 Video Sulley Muntari cooks for wife Menayebullet
7 Video Shatta Wale displays great football skills that would...bullet
8 Back to the Roots Memphis Depay dancing ‘adobe’ in Cape Coastbullet
9 Video Watch the highlights of new Black Stars wonder kidbullet
10 Ghost Goal Italian referee shows remorse for...bullet

Football