Doha: The group matches of the ongoing Football World Cup in Qatar have now entered the final stage and along with this, the timings of the matches have also been changed.
In the first 2 stages of the group matches each match was played separately but from November 29 this will not be the case.
Now there will be 4 matches per day, but the matches of each group will start at the same time instead of at different times.
That is, on November 29, Group A matches will start simultaneously at 8:00 PM, while Group B matches will be played at 12:00 PM.
So why is this being done suddenly?
The aim of playing the final matches of each group simultaneously is to ensure competitive balance and fair play.
Simply put, it is being ensured that teams do not know in advance what they have to do to reach the knockout stage.
This can prevent teams from influencing the results.
The hidden reason behind this policy is also very interesting or rather shameful for FIFA.
For this, we have to go back 40 years, that is, to the 1982 World Cup in Spain.
The match played between West Germany and Austria on June 25, 1985 in this tournament is the reason for this policy.
The match is known as the Disgrace of Gijon.
At the opening of the tournament, Algeria defeated West Germany and became the first African team to defeat a European team in the World Cup.
But in the next match, he was defeated by Austria, while in the third match he won against Chile.
But Algeria’s final group match came a day before West Germany and Austria, and both European teams knew what they needed to do to reach the next stage.
A win for West Germany by one or two goals would have sent the German team, along with Austria, into the next round on goal difference.
A win for West Germany by 4 or more goals would have put Algeria in the knockout stages instead of Austria.
In this match, West Germany would have won by 3 goals, then Algeria and Austria would have to go to a tie breaker.
But during the match, Germany scored the first goal in the first 10 minutes, but after that the pace of the game slowed down and there was no significant effort by either team to score.
In this way, the German team won by one goal and took Austria along with them to the next stage.
Both teams were later accused of match-fixing, but FIFA said the two European teams did not appear to have breached any laws.
However, after this incident, FIFA changed the structure of the group matches of future tournaments and introduced a policy of starting the final matches of each group simultaneously.