Of course, it's about friendlies. Had France performed better in the qualifiers, they might have avoided the play-offs altogether.
When the October 2009 ranking was released, France had played four friendlies in the last 12 months:
19 Nov 2008 France - Uruguay 0 - 0
11 Feb 2009 France - Argentina 0 - 2
02 Jun 2009 France - Nigeria 0 - 1
05 Jun 2009 France - Turkey 1 - 0
The friendly against Turkey being the only win, I will leave it out.
In order to be in the top 7, France would have needed one of the following:
- win against Argentina
- draw against Argentina and get at least 4 points from the matches against Uruguay and Nigeria
- get 6 points from the matches against Uruguay and Nigeria
- cancel the Nigeria match (played on a non-FIFA date) and win against Uruguay