Platini admits FIFA schemed to keep France, Brazil apart in 1998 World Cup
Just when you thought FIFA couldn’t go any lower, disgraced former FIFA vice president (and France National Team legend) Michel Platini dropped a bombshell on Friday.
Platini told radio station France Bleu that FIFA and the France World Cup organizing committee set up a “little scam” to ensure that France and Brazil were on opposite sides of the bracket, ensuring a path to the final for both teams. Brazil and France both needed wins on penalty kicks to make it to the finals after cruising through the group stage but France ended up winning its first - and so far only - World Cup on home soil.
“When we organized the calendar, we did a little trickery,” Platini said. “If we finished first in the group and Brazil finished first, we could not meet before the final.”
At the time, there were eight seeded teams in the tournament. While it was supposed to be random as to where each of the seeded teams ended up, France ended up in Group C and Brazil in Group A, and as long as both finished first in the group, they’d be on opposite sides of the knockout stage.
“We did not get bored for six years to organize the World Cup to not do some little shenanigans,” Platini said. “You think that the others did not do it for their World Cup France-Brazil in the final, it was the dream of everyone.”
This jaw-dropping statement was perfectly in line with Sepp Blatter’s FIFA, which allowed countless scandals, fraud and corruption to take place under his watch.