After some final World Cup group matches seemed to turn into "non-games" with teams barely playing or seeming unwilling to score, FIFA said on Friday it had no plan to change rules or how the draw is made. On Thursday, Japan's 1-0 defeat by Poland turned to farce as the Japanese, level on points, goal difference and goals with Senegal, defended their advantage on FIFA's fair play criteria by effectively stopping playing, thereby avoiding picking up bookings or red cards that would have jeopardised their second-place finish.
Later, the England versus Belgium match was overshadowed by talk that, being both sure of qualifying for the next round, neither wanted to win since the group winners face a potentially tougher route to final than the runners-up.
Had England equalised, they would have finished first, as they started with fewer yellow cards, while Belgium had also picked up more bookings during the course of the match. FIFA's World Cup Chief Executive Colin Smith said the fair play criteria for group qualification would be reviewed after its first use at the World Cup but he believed it would not change.