Michel Platini has admitted he “did a little trickery” with the 1998 World Cup group stage draw to try and ensure hosts France and reigning champions Brazil would fulfil “everyone’s dream” by meeting in the final.
Platini was a co-organiser of the 1998 tournament along with late French Football Federation president Fernand Sastre.
The former UEFA President told France Bleu he had had a hand in ensuring France and Brazil would not meet before the final if both qualified top of their sections in the group stage, which they eventually did.
“That was everyone’s dream,” said Platini, who is currently serving a four-year ban from all football activities. “We did a little trickery. You have to organise the fixture list. So, we did it so that if France and Brazil were first, they wouldn’t meet before the final. We were at home so we took advantage of things.
“We didn’t bust our balls organising a World Cup for six years to not be able to do a little trickery. You don’t think the others didn’t do that at other World Cups? Really?”
“It wasn’t difficult: France in Group A [sic], Brazil in Group F [sic], whatever, I don’t know. If they both finished top, they couldn’t meet before the final,” Platini said. “That’s all, it’s simple.”