France to appeal against World Cup seeding

France are to complain to FIFA over the seeding system for the World Cup playoffs in November, claiming that it discriminates against the side finishing second in a five-team group.

The World and European champions Spain are three points ahead in Group I and host Georgia in their final qualifier on Tuesday when second-placed France, who look certain to go through to the playoffs, entertain Finland.

The play-off seeds will be determined by FIFA rankings and 25th-placed France face a meeting with a higher ranked nation.

Les Bleus believe the system is flawed because fewer ranking points were available in the five-nation Group I while the other sections all contained six teams.

“We’re going to contact FIFA,” the French Federation’s president Noël Le Graët told the radio station 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.”

Undeniably true. But, with 18 countries still in with a theoretical chance of qualifying for next year’s finals, perhaps the talk of potential play-off opponents is just a little premature.