JOHANNESBURG (AFP) - France are worried that Group A rivals Mexico and Uruguay may conspire to achieve the draw that would send both through to the World Cup last 16 at Les Bleus' expense.
Having lost to the Mexicans after drawing with the Uruguayans, France will be eliminated even if they beat hapless South Africa and their rivals play for the draw.
"The worry will be Mexico and Uruguay will draw," reported French sports daily L'Equipe.
If the Mexicans and the Uruguayans do draw to move both countries onto five points that will guarantee they finish clear of the French, who could only manage four if they win their final game.
A similar scenario occurred in 1982 when Germany and Austria played out a dire goalless draw to squeeze out Algeria.
And at Euro 2004, the Swedes and Danes - another pair of neighbours - drew 2-2 to eliminate the furious Italians.
French coach Raymond Domenech insists the conspiracy theory is irrelevant.
"I am not bothered about the others. We have to play and do our thing and the other match is not my problem."
Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez insisted there was no need for the French to have such concerns.
"We must not get caught up in speculation and theorising. It is a football match and we are thinking of approaching it as if we were just setting out on the group phase.
"It's just that now we are in a better situation than our rivals," Tabarez told reporters in Kimberley, 460 km southwest of Johannesburg, in allusion to the fact that a 3-0 win over South Africa has the Uruguayans with a better goal difference than the Mexicans' after they beat France 2-0.
The subplot is who will finish top of the group as that would mean a potentially easier round of last 16 encounter with the runners-up likely to face an explosive-looking Argentina.
Four years ago in Germany, the Mexicans placed second in their group but then faced the Argentines, who beat them.
Mexico coach Javier Aguirre refused to be drawn on the mathematics.
"We just want to make sure of getting through to the next round. I hope my team are sound and will be strong and solid as they were against France."
Tabarez's concerns were not the maths of qualifying but the 'Jabulani' ball which several teams have decried as being difficult to control with a hard to read trajectory in venues at relatively high altitude.
"It plays very quickly and obviously requires a measure of adaptation - but it is the same ball for everybody," Tabarez said.
|17||G. dos Santos|
|Coach: J. Aguirre|
for A. Guardado 46'
for H. Moreno 57'
for C. Blanco 63'
|Cerci in charge of his future, says Cairo|
|West Ham target new striker|
|Pardew hopeful over De Jong|
|Rodgers expects new Gerrard deal|
|Jones: United embracing Van Gaal methods|
|Henry: Time had come to sell Suarez|
|Brunt eyes new West Brom deal|
|Arsenal´s World Cup winners to miss league opener|
|Modric hails Rodriguez, Kroos signings|
|Cech does not want bench role|
|Inzaghi blames fatigue for Milan loss|
|Real´s time to shine, says Ancelotti|
|Real Salt Lake 3 Montreal Impact 1: Garcia stars in Utah|
|Downing: Carroll injury a ´big blow´|
|Irvine: I have not seen Ideye play live|
|Olympiacos triumph in Toronto|
|Giggs likens Van Gaal to Ferguson|
|Copa do Brasil Review: Corinthians among trio on the verge of progression|
|Blanc: World Cup stars will move on|
|Pinto steps down as Costa Rica coach|
|Mourinho planning Drogba swoop|
|UEFA Europa League Review: Rosenborg complete comeback to see off Sligo|
|Mathieu out to enjoy Barcelona move|
|Mandzukic not Diego Costa´s replacement|
|Eliseu returns to Portugal with Benfica|
|Sanabria makes Roma switch|
|Carroll to miss start of season|
|Vidal: I´m not going to Manchester|
|Xavi staying at Barcelona|
|Hannover complete Gulselam signing|
|Astori loaned to Roma, Cagliari confirm|
|Nigeria to talk with Keshi over return|
|Gamberini makes Chievo move|
|Besic poised to complete Everton move|
|Marseille move Montpellier fixture from Stade Velodrome|
|CSL Preview: Harbin eye Luneng scalp, Guangzhou face Hena|
|Guardiola preaches patience with Lewandowski|
|Lampard joins New York City|
|Blanc coy on Di Maria speculation|
|CAF Confederation Cup Preview: ASEC coach confident, Al Ahly seek qualification|
|Chelsea loan Piazon to Frankfurt|
|Pochettino has high hopes for Lamela|
|Aguirre appointed as Japan coach|
|Swansea swoop for Montero|
|Pozuelo makes Vallecano switch|
|Fred back at Shakhtar, Ismaily to follow|
|CFF investigate Fofana accusations|
|Suarez could make sensational Clasico debut|
|Ribery in line for return, says Guardiola|
|Reus could resume training in two or three weeks - Klopp|
|Roma need another defender, says Garcia|
|Everton on verge of new signings|
|Rodrigo hails Nuno after Valencia switch|
|Delph eager for new Villa deal|
|Ljajic not seeking Roma exit|
|Talks held as players strike in Ecuador|
|Crouch excited by Bojan capture|
|Lambert expects swift recovery for Cole|
|West Ham duo fail to travel|
|United to play 3-4-3, says Van Gaal|
|Lallana, Markovic set to feature against Olympiacos|
|Real want to win every trophy, says Bale|
|San Jose Earthquakes 5 Chicago Fire 1: Hosts break winless streak|
|Chelsea have "outstanding squad" - Costa|
|United make winning start under Van Gaal|
|Rodgers plays down Borini injury concerns|
|Atletico Mineiro 4 Lanus 3 (agg 5-3): Own goals gift Brazilians the win|
|Dunga names Brazil assistants|
|Man City show class in Kansas|
|Villa too good for Dallas|
|Santos cannot meet Robinho´s demands, says vice-president|
|Mourinho happy with goalkeeper situation|
|Borini hurt as Liverpool lose to Roma|
|Palace held to draw by Crew|
|Tottenham down Toronto after Lamela brace|
|San Lorenzo 5 Bolivar 0: Hosts close in on Copa Libertadores final|
|Sunderland forward Scocco joins Newell´s|
|Rodgers: We won´t overpay in transfer market|
|Maccabi Haifa friendly abandoned after pitch invasion|
|USA dynamo Beasley joins Houston|
|UEFA Champions League Review: Steaua ease through as Legia Warsaw hit five|
|Youngsters inspire Sunderland to win at Hartlepool|
|Aluko and Sagbo net as Hull City beat York|
|PSG loan Aurier from Toulouse|
|Emotional Davies thanks Swansea fans|
|Mandzukic makes debut as Atletico win|
|Filipe makes bow in Chelsea draw|
|Bahebeck stars again as PSG beat Nice|
|Conte rubbishes PSG talk|
|Tottenham sign Davies and Vorm as Sigurdsson joins Swansea|
|De Laurentiis vows Napoli will fight for Scudetto|
|Lyon sign Jallet from PSG|
|Rijeka deny racism allegations|
|Suarez has been treated ´like a murderer´, says Aspas|
|Basel secure Samuel swoop|
|Thai Premier League Review: Buriram go top as Muang Thong slip up|
|Dnipro-Copenhagen clash moved to Kiev|
|Tevez never considered Juve exit|
|Djuricic joins Mainz on loan|
|Cavani keen on PSG stay|
|Shaqiri flattered by Juventus link|
|Johnson, Sommer arrive at Monchengladbach|
|J.League Review: Kawasaki close gap on Sagan, Urawa move clear at top|
|Coleman to miss Everton´s Thailand trip|
|Thankful Rueda bids farewell to Ecuador|
|Liga MX Preview: Peralta set for home debut, Leon seek recovery|
|K.League Review: Top two draw blanks, Jeju United close in|
|CAF Champions League Preview: Zamalek primed for crucial game, CS Sfaxien meet ES Tunis|
|Low quashes Germany exit rumours|
|Getafe agree Michel loan|
|Porto bring in Brahimi from Granada|
|Pardew satisfied with attacking signings|
|Pellegrini targets further City signings|
|Sevilla complete Krychowiak deal|
|Eisfeld makes Fulham move|
|Zarate opens account as West Ham stumble|
|I have nothing to prove, says Ince|
|Barcelona seal Mathieu deal|
|United prepared to spend big, claims Woodward|
|Shakhtar to play in Lviv|
|Pereyra poised for Juve switch|
|Fabregas eyes trophies at Chelsea|
|Vorm confirms Tottenham transfer|
|Deila: Forster will leave Celtic eventually|
|No pressure for Shaw|
|Van Gaal happy with preparations|
|Diarra aiming for Bordeaux return after West Ham frustration|
|Last season for Montpellier owner Nicollin|
|Monaco: Rodriguez deal too good to ignore|
|Nacional Asuncion 2 Defensor Sporting 0: Hosts surge towards Libertadores final|
|Garcia eyeing Serie A title|
|Father against Vlasic´s move abroad|
|Rodgers welcomes Gerrard´s international retirement|
|Cruzeiro, Atletico Mineiro bid for Robinho|
|Inzaghi not drawn into Balotelli speculation|
|Dunga ´not going to sell a dream´|
|City´s Fofana allegedly racially abused|
|Carroll ruled out of NZ friendlies|
|Rodgers excited by new arrivals|