FIFA dismiss World Cup draw conspiracy theory

FIFA has dismissed conspiracy theories surrounding the 2014 World Cup draw, saying nothing untoward occurred at last week’s event in Brazil.

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

There was speculation after Friday’s draw that Argentina was not placed by chance in group F, along with Iran, Nigeria and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Reporters from the South American country claimed they were told ahead of the draw in which group Lionel Messi’s team would be, and the team’s World Cup base camp was set up before the draw in Belo Horizonte, where they will play against Iran.

Twitter posts allegedly accurately predicting the composition of group F added to conspiracy theories, and there were suggestions that the balls containing team names were not visible behind the lectern of FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke.

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.

How unseeded France managed to snare a group comprising Switzerland, Ecuador and Honduras, continues to remain something of a mystery.