The Premier League and England national team may have fallen foul of a few dodgy UEFA draws, if the claims of Sepp Blatter are to be believed.
While far from a reputable source when it comes to anything involving the truth, Blatter has nevertheless come forward to explain how a simple bit of ball refrigeration helped organisers rig certain, unspecified draws.
Speaking to La Nacion, Blatter outlined the system in startling detail.
“I witnessed draws at the European level where that happened. But never at FIFA. Of course it can be done,” he said.
“You put the balls in the refrigerator beforehand. Just by comparing one and the other when you touch them you can tell the cold balls from the hot. When you touch them, you know what they are.”
While scepticism hangs over Blatter’s claims that such practices never happened within the work of the completely non-corrupt FIFA, it’s his claims that such methods are used as “European level” that will draw some concern among English football fans.
If Blatter is , referring to UEFA then suddenly a few things are worth considering.
Like the alarming number of times Arsenal have been drawn against Barcelona in the Champions League as well as the number of times Manchester City have faced Bayern Munich.
England facing Wales at Euro 2016 might seem like fate to some, but what if someone had planned it all along? Hosts France certainly got a plum draw, didn’t they?
Whether that proves to be the case one thing is for sure: no potentially rigged draw could account for England throwing away that win against Russia.
Still, Blatter may have opened up a real can of worms here – someone get Greg Dyke on the case.
That is, if he has a minute to spare away from his usual duties of either heaping pressure on or slagging off the current Three Lions team.
Loaded staff writer Jack Beresford has produced content for Lad Bible, Axonn Media and a variety of online sports and news media outlets.