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For eight consecutive days, the soccer smorgasbord that’s the World Cup has unspooled at regular intervals, each match staggered to bestow it maximum importance, a full 90 minutes of splendor — plus an eon of stoppage time — on the global stage without intrusion from other games.

Even though there were many upsets, there was a certain order to the proceedings: There were four games scheduled on most of those eight days. They were all three hours apart. It was glorious and satisfying. andFor those who seek order, it is life-affirming.

As of Tuesday, structure has been temporarily suspended. Prepare for chaos, dear reader.

Each of the eight groups will host its final round simultaneously, starting with Group A at 10 a.m. Eastern Time.

Croatia The event will begin against Belgium On Wednesday, Canada will face Morocco. After a break, Japan plays Spain in Group E, which is scheduled to start at 2 p.m. Eastern, precisely when Costa Rica’s matchup with Germany begins.

This schedule change creates the best conditions for competitive balance and Fair play ensures that the teams don’t know what result is required to advance to the knockout stages before they take the field. It prevents teams from improving their brackets by manipulating goal differential or refusing to play to win. It also hinders match fixing.

The policy dates to a moment so embarrassing for international soccer — which has had one or two or nine — that it came to merit a shorthand of sorts: the Disgrace of Gijón. Or, in Germany, Nichtangriffspakt von Gijón (the nonaggression pact of Gijón).

The 1982 World Cup Spain is heading into the final match of group play. West Germany is following suit. and Austria realized that a victory for West Germany by one or two goals would enable both teams to progress — and Thus, Algeria’s upstart was eliminated. After finishing group play a day before, it needed to win or draw with Austria in order for it to continue.

Horst Hrubesch scored West Germany’s winning goal in the 11th minute. Then, torpidity and languor and boredom and yawn. George Vecsey reported on the match in The Sunday Review. “West Germany made more kicks backward than forward.” The arrangement secured both teams’ passage.

His book on the rise of African soccer is available here “Feet of the Chameleon,” Ian Hawkey said that Algerian fans waved banknotes at the players. and German television called it “it” “the most shameful day in the history of our Football Federation.”

FIFA received a complaint from Algeria, but did not issue a punishment. FIFA responded with amending its rules. World CupAll the final matches within a group would take place simultaneously. They are.

Enjoy the chaos. Enjoy the absurd.