Football: `It was a draw with a human touch. It was a real feat'
Friday 05 December 1997
The World Cup draw he had insisted should take place in a stadium for the first time went smoothly. Platini, the co-president of the organising committee, said: "It was a draw with a human touch. There was screaming, there was swearing, there were pains and joys - everything you expect to find in a football stadium."
The former French player and coach added: "It was a real feat. We laid down the gauntlet."
Some of the 18,000 children invited to Marseilles' Stade Velodrome invaded the pitch at the end of the gala match held before the draw but Platini, who campaigned for fences to be removed from World Cup stadia, said it was not a problem. "It was a minor mishap. A sign of the enthusiasm of youths who wanted to fully take part in the celebrations," he said.
Platini felt France had been given a good draw; the hosts meet South Africa, Denmark and Saudi Arabia. "On paper, France have real chances to qualify rather easily for the second phase," he said.
Platini said he did not consider the game between the United States and Iran in Group F to be a high-risk clash. "I'm not sure there will be a lot of American and Iranian supporters at that game," he said.
Latest in Sport
Luckless Abou Diaby full of confidence as he attempts yet another Arsenal comeback
Arturo Vidal: Midfielder must ask to join Manchester United, say Juventus
Scottie dogs in Commonwealth Games opening ceremony 'disrespectful to Muslims', say Malaysian politicians
Calum Chambers joins Arsenal: Gunners complete £16m transfer of right-back
Manchester United latest: Angel Di Maria move no closer as Juan Mata emerges as Louis van Gaal's favoured No 10 as prospect of signing
- 1 'Women should not laugh in public,' says Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister in morality speech
- 2 The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
- 3 Is Ebola coming to Britain? UK health officials issue warning to doctors as outbreak fears grow
- 4 Richard Dawkins says 'date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse' on Twitter
- 5 Danish TV reporter is all business up top, all party down below
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – Britain as others see us
Were 'Poor Doors' added to mixed developments so wealthy residents don't have to go in alongside social housing tenants?
Competitive: The Green Recruitment Company: The Organisation: The Green Recrui...
£350 - £400 per annum + competitive: Orgtel: Project Manager (specializing in ...
£40000 - £50000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Embedded Sof...
£50000 - £65000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: Working for a m...