TBT: How the 1998 World Cup draw was fixed to seperate France and Brazil from meeting before the final


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In May 2018, French legend and ex-head of Uefa Michel Platini revealed the draw for the 1998 World Cup held in France was rigged to ensure a dream final.

Platini admitted in a French radio interview that he was involved in a plot to ensure the 1998 hosts could not meet favourites Brazil until the last round.

Fifa has long agreed that the host nation should be given a pre-draw seeding spot while the other seven seeds for the first 32-team tournament were allocated on a calculation mixing the world rankings with performances at the three previous World Cup.

Fifa regulations for the competition stated that the seeds should be randomly assigned at the Finals draw, which took place inside the Stade Velodrome in Marseilles.

But the banned former Uefa boss, who was the co-president of the Organising Committee for the tournament, pressed for a change in the criteria of the draw so that defending champions Brazil and France will not meet in the early stages.

The 1998 draw saw the winners of Group A, D, E and H slotted into one half of the draw. B, C, F and G were in the other.

It was predetermined that France would take position C1 as hosts, and Brazil position A1 as the holders, thus they were in different halves of the draw and could not meet before the final.

Platini confessed: “When we organised the calendar, we did a little trickery.

“We did not work until we were bored for six years to organise the World Cup not to do some little shenanigans.

“When you are at home, you want to be able to enjoy things.

“You think the others do not do it for their World Cups? France against Brazil in the final, that was the dream of everyone.”

Both teams progressed to the final where France won 3-0, notably thanks to two headed goals from Zinedine Zidane.