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Monday, January 30, 2023

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why are the last group matches played at the same time?

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You may have been surprised when you turned on your television this Tuesday morning. From November 29, no more World Cup group matches in Qatar are played in the morning at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Paris time. From now on, the matches of the same group take place at the same time, either at 4 p.m. like Ecuador-Senegal and Netherlands-Qatar in pool A, or at 8 p.m., which obliges viewers to choose their meeting or to zap between the two to try not to miss any action.

This will also be the case for group D, that of France, where the Blues will meet Tunisia this Wednesday at 4 p.m., at the same time as the other group match between Australia and Denmark.

Avoid arrangements

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In reality, Fifa asks the organizers of the World Cup to schedule the matches of the third and last day of a pool at the same time (for the World Cup in Qatar, at 4 p.m. or 8 p.m., Paris time). The reason is simple: it is a matter of respecting sporting fairness to avoid any arrangement. By having the matches played at the same time, Fifa reduces the possibility of an agreement between two teams which could both qualify thanks to adequate results.

This was also the case during the 1982 World Cup, between West Germany (FRG) and Austria in a meeting nicknamed “the match of shame”. The day before, Algeria had won 3 goals to 2 against Chile, and could claim qualification in group 2. However, if Austria was almost certain to qualify the next day, whatever their result against FRG, the latter needed a victory with one or two goals to slip into the second round of the competition. The result of the match, 1-0 for West Germany, then satisfied the two nations and effectively eliminated Algeria.

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It is therefore to avoid this type of arrangement that the last group matches are played at the same time. If viewers are forced to use their remote control to try not to miss anything, the special correspondents of Europe 1 in Qatar will take stock of the two evening matches to keep all football fans informed in real time.

Source: Europe1

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