Former UEFA president and France legend Michel Platini has admitted that the 1998 FIFA World Cup draw in his homeland was fixed.
Platini who was co-president of the organising committee for the World Cup revealed that he was involved in a plot to ensure the 1998 hosts could not meet favourites Brazil until the final
FIFA have 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 Cups.
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 Marseille.
But Platini pressed for a change that would allow France and Brazil to be kept apart until the final.
“When we organized the calendar, we did a little trickery,” Platini confessed in an interview with a French radio station.
“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 win their group and kept their scheduled date in the Stade de France, won 3-0 by the hosts with two from Zinedine Zidane and the third scored by Emmanuel Petit.