Disgraced ex-footballer Michel Platini has admitted the draw for the 1998 World Cup was fixed.
The former UEFA president and Euro 84 winner said the scam “wasn’t difficult” and had boosted the chances of what he called a “dream final” of France against Brazil.
He told France Bleu Sport: “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.”
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.
He was found to have received a “disloyal payment” of £1.3m from then-FIFA president Sepp Blatter.
The ban was originally eight years but has been reduced twice.
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 now Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane.
The 62-year-old former France manager 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?”
While teams had been allocated to specific groups at previous tournaments, it had typically been to keep countries from the same confederation apart, while at Italia 90, the six top seeds were assigned to groups A to F in order.
England were placed in the “London group” at both the 1966 World Cup and Euro 96, ensuring they would play all their games at Wembley.