- Platini has admitted that the 1998 World Cup draws fixed
- The former France midfielder and manager reveals they ensured the French team avoided Brazil before the final
- Host country eventually won the tournament after beating the Brazilian team 3-0 in the final
Former UEFA president Michel Platini has finally opened up that the 1998 World Cup draw was fixed.
The 62-year-old was kicked out of FIFA and the European football body in October 2015 after it was confirmed that he got a “disloyal payment” of £1.35million from disgraced world football governing boss, Sepp Blatter.
Platini, who coached the French national team between 1988 and 1992, confessed that he was part of the plot to ensure the 1998 hosts avoid favourites Brazil until the final.
According to the Sun, FIFA had given the host nation 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 last the three editions of the championship.
The world’s football governing body statutes for the competition stated that the seeds should be randomly assigned at the Finals draw, which took place inside the Stade Velodrome in Marseilles.
However, Platini, who had been appointed co-president of the World Cup Organising Committee in 1992, pressed for a change that would allow France and Brazil avoid themselves until the ultimate showpiece.
The three-time ballon d’Or winner was on the verge of succeeding Blatter as the FIFA president before their atrocities were brought to the open, and was then forced out of his role as President of UEFA.
Platini, speaking in a French radio interview, confessed: “When we organised the calendar, we did a little trickery.”
Whereas Russia were the only seeds who knew their spot for the 2018 draw, Brazil were announced as the top seed in Group A, with France taking the corresponding spot in Group C.
With the paths to the final pre-ordained by the match calendar, the fix was in.
Platini, who remains banned from all football activity until next year, added: “If we finished first in the group and Brazil finished first, we could not meet before the final.
“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 sides did avoid themselves until the final, which France won 3-0 with two from Zinedine Zidane and the third scored by Emmanuel Petit.
During his playing days, Platini won three Serie A titles with Juventus, a French League cup and several other domestic trophies.
He also won the UEFA European Football Championship with his country in 1984 before venturing into football management in 1988, and then became the UEFA Technical Development Committee between 1988 and 1990.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng earlier reported that Michel Platini resigned from his position as the UEFA president, shortly after he failed in his bid against his eight-year-ban by the FIFA ethics committee.
The Frenchman was banned for eight years by the Court of Arbitration for Sports after failing to get his six-year ban from all football activities overturned.
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