European World Cup qualifying: 18 countries still in race to Brazil

by Matt Kaludi | Monday, Oct 14, 2013 | 1315 views

Marseille became the first French club to win one of the three major European trophies, beating AC Milan of Italy 1-0 on May 26 in Munich, Germany. The Italians could not complain about the result, having had chances to score before Marseille struck with two minutes remaining in the first half. Daniele Massaro, preferred to Jean-Pierre Papin of France in the Milan attack, wasted three openings before the crucial goal was scored.

European World Cup

That took place when Abedi Pele took a corner on the right, swinging the ball into the goal area, where Basile Boli rose above the Milan defense to glance a header into the far corner of the net. Papin was brought off the substitute bench in the 54th minute, but the match was already falling away from Milan’s control. For Marseille coach Raymond Goethals it was a twilight achievement at the age of 72, but the celebration was short-lived. In the wake of serious bribery scandals, UEFA stripped Marseille of the European title and imposed a ban on entry for 1993-94.

The team’s millionaire president, Bernard Tapie, sought Swiss court action and obtained reinstatement, but threats of further sanctions by UEFA and the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) against French national and club teams forced him to drop the lawsuit. The French Federation subsequently suspended three players and a club official and declared the club’s national league title for 1992-93 void.

In Scotland the Rangers again were in dominating form, winning all three domestic trophies, including their 43rd league championship. In Poland, however, Legia Warsaw was deprived of its title when match-fixing allegations were proved against it.

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