Soccer-Van Gaal slams 3rd-4th place playoff as pointless


By Andrew Downie

SAO PAULO, July 9 (Reuters) - The Netherlands will face Brazil in Saturday's third-fourth place play-off but it is not a match the Dutch want to play, with coach Louis van Gaal saying it was a pointless exercise that "has nothing to do with sports."

"I think this match should never be played and I've been saying this for 10 years," Van Gaal said after his team were knocked out by Argentina on penalties.

"It is unfair we have one day less to recover than our opponent so that is not fair play either," he added.

"But the worst thing is I believe that chances are that you lose twice in a row. And a tournament in which you've played so marvelously well you would go home as a loser just because you could possibly have lost the last two matches and this has got nothing to do with sports in my view."

"So, in a football tournament particularly not at the last stage you shouldn't have players playing match for third-fourth place. Because there is only one award that counts and that is becoming world champion."

The Netherlands will face host nation Brazil, who were hammered 7-1 by Germany in the other semi on Tuesday. The match will take place in the capital Brasilia. (Reporting by Andrew Downie, Editing by Nigel Hunt)

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