Published On: Tue, Dec 10th, 2013

Group F World Cup Draw: FIFA Dismisses Rigging Allegation

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 Federation of International Football Association FIFA has denied acussation that the world cup draw for Brazil 2014 which places Argentina in group f was manipulated to favour Argentina.

FIFA Tuesday dismissed thoughts of rigging the groups to favour any country as nonsense, insisting that the draw was conducted in the best possible fair manner.

“These rumours are totally unfounded,” FIFA spokeswoman, Delia Fischer, said Tuesday.

But some people believe the draw was conducted to favour Lionel Messi’s team because reporters in Argentina knew before the event where Argentina would be placed.  And there was speculation after Friday’s draw that Argentina was not placed by chance in group F, along with Iran, Nigeria and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

The argument is that Argentina would not have  chosen their World Cup base camp before the draw in Belo Horizonte, where they will play against Iran, if they had no fore knowledge of their group.

Twitter posts allegedly accurately predicting the composition of group F added to conspiracy theories, so did allegedly FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke, for opening the balls containing the team names not fully visible behind his lectern.

But FIFA said, “all the preparations for the draw were monitored and validated by three representatives of Ernst and Young”, and that seven cameras were constantly focused on Valcke during the draw, with the show’s TV director deciding on the spot which camera angle was shown.

Italian journalists have also accused FIFA of aiding France in the draws, which placed the Azzuris together with Uruguay, England and Costa Rica.

The draw was received by Italy’s media with such headlines: “Zinedine Zidane headbutts us again,” comparing the Frenchman having drawn Italy as the floating European side in the draw to his assault on Marco Materazzi in the 2006 World Cup final.

Italians are angry not only at the group, but with the procedures introduced by FIFA before the draw that ended up favouring France; the lowest European qualifier in the FIFA rankings, which ended up in the least difficult group, with Switzerland, Honduras and Ecuador.

with agency reports.

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