Michel Platini has admitted he “did somewhat tough” with the 1998 World Cup group stage draw to try to guarantee hosts France and reigning champions Brazil would fulfil “everybody’s dream” by assembly within the closing.
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 high of their sections within the group stage, which they finally did.
“That was everybody’s dream,” mentioned Platini, who’s at the moment serving a four-year ban from all soccer actitivies. “We did somewhat tough. You should organise the fixture listing. So, we did it in order that if France and Brazil had been first, they would not meet earlier than the ultimate. We had been at house so we took benefit of issues.
“We did not bust our balls organising a World Cup for six years to not have the ability to do some 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, had been positioned in Group A and completed high regardless of dropping their closing group recreation to Norway having already crushed Scotland and Morocco.
France knew they might be in Group C earlier than the group-stage draw was made, and received all three matches towards Denmark, South Africa and Saudi Arabia.
Both groups progressed to the ultimate the place France received Three-Zero, notably thanks to 2 headed objectives from Zinedine Zidane.
“It wasn’t tough: France in Group A [sic], Brazil in Group F [sic], no matter, I do not know. If they each completed high, they could not meet earlier than the ultimate,” Platini mentioned. “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, nonetheless, agree to permit Platini and Sastre to put Brazil and France within the teams they desired.
The sports activities each day additionally acknowledged the most important 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 through which they might play their group stage video games. Italy, for instance, performed all three group video games on the East Coast the place there’s a giant Italian-American inhabitants.
In 1990, the seeds had been put into teams by way of an automated system based mostly on their leads to earlier World Cups, whereas in 2006, hosts Germany had been in Group A, champions Brazil in Group F, that means they may not face one another till the ultimate.
Since, solely the hosts have be predrawn through which group they may play.
FIFA are but to remark.
Information from the Associated Press was used on this report.