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Emmanuel Petit doubts if France's 1998 FIFA WC win was clean

Paris: Nearly two decades after winning the 1998 football World Cup, French former international Emmanuel Petit has expressed doubts about whether the hosts cleanly won the FIFA competition or the victory in the final was the result of match fixing.

Former French footballer Emmanuel Petit. Pic/Getty Images
Former French footballer Emmanuel Petit. Pic/Getty Images

"Several weeks ago I said did we really win the World Cup in 1998 and it was not a small settlement? I know nothing," the scorer of the third goal in that final against Brazil said on Friday in a web documentary.

The former player of Monaco, Arsenal, Barcelona and Chelsea however defended the commitment of the French squad then led by Didier Deschamps, which included Zinedine Zidane, Bixente Lizarazu, Lilian Thuram, Patrick Vieira, Laurent Blanc, Thierry Henry, David Trezeguet and Christian Karembeu, reports Efe.

"We, on the ground, really delivered against our opponents. We did everything to win, we prepared for it," said Petit, who stressed that the doubts that assail him lately are in response to the scandals related to the world of soccer.

The player cited as an example, with a wry smile, the first match of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, when the hosts beat Croatia 3-1, as the first goal was scored after 69 minutes with a penalty that generated a high-profile controversy.

"With everything going on today... I have come to ask: Were we puppets used to push the economy?" said the retired midfielder.

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