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Four years after FIFA 'moved the goalposts' at Ireland's expense, France claim play-off seeding system is 'unfair'

The French have called for a revision of the process.

French Football President Noel Le Graet has complained that the play-off seeding system is
French Football President Noel Le Graet has complained that the play-off seeding system is "unfair".

FOUR YEARS AFTER FIFA were accused of “moving the goalposts” to France’s benefit and Ireland’s expense, the former have complained about the current play-off seeding system.

Prior to the 2010 World Cup, a number of top international sides were struggling to qualify for the competition.

With the play-offs on the horizon, Blatter announced it had been decided that the four top-ranked international sides would be seeded, thus ensuring they would not meet one another.

The FIFA president came under criticism for this retrospective action, which led to Ireland drawing France in a qualifying decider.

Four years on, however, France have spoken out against the play-off system, labelling it “unfair”.

The French look set to have to settle for second place in their group, with Spain currently three points ahead of them.

Consequently, France’s 25th-placed ranking is likely to ensure they will not be seeded for the upcoming play-off draw, and thus, will likely have to face a big footballing nation.

The French are arguing that they are at a disadvantage given that their group contains only five teams (whereas all the others feature six sides), pointing out that they have fewer opportunities to gain ranking points.

“We’re going to contact Fifa,” French Federation President Noel Le Graet told RMC. “There is a little injustice between the group of five and the groups of six. Our rivals from other groups have been able to score more points… that’s a fact.”

h/t The Guardian and @cmckennasport

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Paul Fennessy

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