PARIS (AP) France soccer great Michel Platini says ”a little trickery” in the 1998 World Cup draw ensured his home country would avoid Brazil until the final which it won in Paris.
Platini, who led the tournament organizing committee, tells radio station France Bleu ”when we organized the calendar, we did a little trickery.”
He says it ensured France and Brazil would be in opposite halves of the knockout draw if each won its group.
The December 1997 draw in Marseille was overseen by FIFA’s then-secretary general, Sepp Blatter.
Defending champion Brazil was in Group A, and France went to Group C. Both advanced to the final and France won 3-0.
Blatter’s spokesman did not immediately return a message seeking comment.
FIFA banned Platini and Blatter in 2015 for financial misconduct.