Tuesday, May 22, 2007

1993 Marseille 1-0 AC Milan

The 1992-93 season of the UEFA Champions League football club tournament was won for the first time by Olympique de Marseille in the final against A.C. Milan.

It was the second to have a group stage involving the eight second round winners split into two groups, and the winner of each one met in the final. In addition, a preliminary round was required as this was the first season after the break-up of the USSR and Yugoslavia, resulting in a large number of new countries eligible to enter the champions of their own leagues into the competition.

However, soon after Marseille's victory allegations of match-fixing were levelled at them and their president Bernard Tapie. This involved a league game where Marseille, it emerged, had fixed their title-clinching Division 1 game against US Valenciennes so they could concentrate on the Milan tie. It is believed that Tapie bribed Valenciennes to lose so that Marseille would win the French league earlier, giving them more time to prepare for the Champions League final. This resulted in Marseille being stripped of their league title by the French Football Federation (although not the Champions League, as the match in question was not in that competition). They were also forcibly relegated to the second tier in the league, and banned from defending their title in Europe in the 1993-94 season.

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