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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jan 24, 2006

Frenchseek swift UEFA action

PARIS, Jan 24 (Reuters) - French soccer officials have asked UEFA to act quickly over allegations that Olympique Marseille players took illegal drugs before the 1993 Champions League final.

'We hope UEFA will take a position as quickly as possible to re-establish the facts, to close this regrettable controversy and to condemn statements that are an offence against the integrity of European football in general and French football in particular,' the presidents of the French Football Federation (FFF) and the Professional Football League (LFP) said in a statement on Tuesday.

Former Marseille player Jean-Jacques Eydelie, who was found guilty of bribery in the 1993 Valenciennes-Olympique Marseille match-fixing scandal, said in a weekend interview that he and several team mates had received injections before the final against AC Milan.

Marseille won the match 1-0 to become the first French side to lift Europe's top club trophy.

European soccer's governing body UEFA said on Monday they would look into the allegations.

FFF president Jean-Pierre Escalettes and LFP president Frederic Thiriez said in the statement that UEFA had checked that anti-doping tests had been conducted after the 1993 finals.

'Those tests proved negative,' the statement read.

SEEKING PUBLICITY

In the interview in Saturday's L'Equipe Magazine, Eydelie also accused former Marseille chairman Bernard Tapie, who was in charge when the club won the European Cup, of various misdemeanours.

Tapie said he would sue Eydelie and the publication.

'I know all this is phoney and there will have to be convictions,' Tapie told French television. The former Marseille boss accused Eydelie of seeking publicity for a book about him to be released shortly.

A former minister during the 1990s when Francois Mitterrand was president, Tapie was sentenced to eight months in prison for his role in the 1993 match-fixing scandal. He was also banned from having any position in soccer for five years.

Eydelie said he was ordered to give money to the wife of former Valenciennes player Christophe Robert to get him to lose the match against visitors Marseille.

Marseille won 1-0 and clinched their fifth consecutive title. They were stripped of the championship the following year and demoted to the second division after the scandal erupted. They were also banned from defending their European title.

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