France Says the World Cup Playoff Seed Process Is Unfair
France has complained that the World Cup Playoff seed process is unfair, and they’ve asked FIFA to review it ahead of next week’s draw.
Spain is an almost certain to finish in first place in the World Cup qualifying group, and if they do, France will finish in second place, which means they’ll have to defeat their opponent in a playoff match in order to qualify for World Cup 2014.
During next week’s draw to determine who plays who in the playoffs, the playoff seeds will be determined by FIFA rankings. France, currently ranked number 25 in the world, will likely face a tough opponent.
France’s chief complaint is that their Group I along with Spain had only five teams in the group compared to all other groups that had six teams. As a result of playing fewer matches, France had fewer ranking points available.
“We’re going to contact (FIFA),” said French Federation president Noel Le Graet. “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.”
Still, few people will have much patience for France after French striker Thierry Henry blatantly handled the ball that led to a goal against Ireland in 2009. France went on to qualify for World Cup 2010 via the playoff after defeating Ireland.