Sunday, May 26, 2013

26 May 1993 - I Hope They Enjoyed It While It Lasted

On 26 May 1993, Marseille won the Champions League trophy, but they were not allowed to defend it the following season.

Under the auspices of club president Bernard Tapie, Marseille rose to elite status in the late 1980s and early 1990s, winning four consecutive Ligue 1 titles from 1989 to 1992. They also reached the European Cup final in 1991, but lost to Red Star Belgrade in a penalty shootout, 0-0 (5-3).

After a disappointing second-round exit from the tournament in 1991-92, they returned to the final in 1993, where they met four-time champions AC Milan in Munich. Although the game featured three of the tournament's four top scorers--Marco van Basten for Milan and Franck Sauzée and Alen Bokšić for Marseille--an unheralded player scored the day's only goal, as Marseille center back Basile Boli found the back of the net in the 43rd minute. They remain the only French club to win the competition.

French authorities subsequently found Tapie and Marseille guilty of match-fixing during the 1992-93 Ligue 1 season. As a result, they were stripped of their 1993 league title and demoted to Ligue 2 for the next season. They were allowed to keep their Champions League trophy, but were barred from participating in the 1993-94 tournament.

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