Platini admits to “shenanigans” in World Cup draw to try and force dream final

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Former UEFA president Michel Platini has claimed: “a little trickery” was used in the 1998 World Cup draw to increase the chances of France and Brazil meeting in the final.

Platini is currently serving a four-year ban from involvement in football – reduced twice from an original eight-year sanction – after he was found guilty of receiving a “disloyal payment” from then-FIFA president Sepp Blatter.

Former France and Juventus playmaker was a co-president of the organizing committee at France 98 and admitted the group allocations for seeded teams were made with an eye on a “dream” final.

Brazil was placed in Group A, as was the standard practice at the time for the defending champions, with France then allocated to Group C – meaning if both teams won their groups, they could not meet before the final.

That was how it turned out, with France triumphing 3-0 at the Stade de France with two goals from Zinedine Zidane.

Platini is currently serving a four-year ban from involvement in football (EMPICS) © Provided by The Press Association Platini is currently serving a four-year ban from involvement in football

“France-Brazil in the final, it was the dream of everyone,” Platini told radio station France Bleu Sport in an interview to be broadcast in full on Sunday.

The 62-year-old was laughing as he added: “There was a little trickery.

“We did not spend six years organizing the World Cup to not do some little shenanigans. Do you think other World Cup hosts did not?”

FILE - In this Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011 file photo, UEFA President Michel Platini, left, walks with Cyprus Football Association President Costakis Koutsokoumnis, during a UEFA summit in southern port city of Limassol, Cyprus. Koutsokoumnis, the president of the Cyprus Football Association for the last 17 years, has died at 61. The Cyprus FA said on its Website that Koutsokoumnis died Monday, March 5, 2018, after a months-long battle with cancer. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias, File) © Catalyst Images FILE – In this Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011 file photo, UEFA President Michel Platini, left, walks with Cyprus Football Association President Costakis Koutsokoumnis, during a UEFA summit in southern port city o…

While teams had been allocated to specific groups at previous tournaments, it had typically been to keep countries from the same confederation separate while at Italia 90, the six top seeds were assigned to groups A to F in order.

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

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