Those international fixtures seem a long time ago now, but it was just last month Laurent Koscielny's France sneaked past the Ukraine in a tightly contested play-off.
The Arsenal star played no part in the second leg after being sent off late in the second leg for pushing an opponent.
It capped off a miserable night for him in the Ukraine, minutes earlier he had given away a penalty to see his side go behind.
Koscielny had been living with the after effects of that game hanging over him despite France's qualification.
Last week a FIFA panel met to hear representations from the French Football Federation as to why Kosicielny's one-match ban, already served, should not be extended as his dismissal fell under 'violent conduct'.
Had Koscielny seen his ban extended he would have been stood to miss the opening games of the World Cup, handing his coach Didier Deschamps a dilemma, similar to the Wayne Rooney issue at Euro 2012 where the striker was suspended for the opening games.
Fortunately for Koscielny, FIFA have delivered their verdict this Monday, and decided the defender has no further case to answer.
The Arsenal defender can now get on with focusing on his club, and can enjoy the upcoming World Cup draw this Friday (December 6) knowing he will be a part of it from the off.
image: © Ronnie Macdonald