Former UEFA boss Platini admits draw for 1998 World Cup was fixed

Former UEFA president Michel Platini on Friday admitted that the draw for the 1998 World Cup was fixed.

The former France player and manager said the scam “wasn’t difficult” and had boosted the chances of what he called a “dream final” that pit the then football giants France and Brazil.

“Group A was France, Group F or Group L was Brazil, so if they both finished first they couldn’t meet, that’s all – it was simple,” Platini told France Bleu Sport.

The revelations come as the man once nicknamed Le Roi (The King) – who still boasts the most goals in a European Championship with nine – serves a four-year ban from involvement in football.

The 62-year-old was found to have received a “disloyal payment” of £1.3m from then-FIFA president Sepp Blatter, who is also serving a ban from the sport.

Platini was a co-president of the organising committee at France 98 which placed Brazil in Group A, as was the standard practice at the time for the defending champions, and France in Group C – meaning if both teams won their groups, they could not meet before the final.

That was how it turned out, with France humbling the defending champions 3-0 at the Stade de France with two goals from current Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane.

Platini was laughing as he confessed: “We did a bit of trickery. When we were organising the schedule.

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

These revelations come as the world gears up for the 2018 FIFA World Cup which will be hosted by Russia from 14 June.