Sports News of Wednesday, 26 July 2017
Ghanaian football legend, Abedi Ayew Pele, has described as absurd, the decision to reveal the machinations and manoeuvrings that led to his transfer from Lille to Olympique Marseille in 1987 by the club’s ex-President, Bernard Tapie.
Former Olympique Marseille president speaking to journalists at Le Monde, Fabrice Lhomme, and Gerard Davet last week Friday, revealed how Olympique Marseille succeeded in signing the African prodigy, Abedi Ayew Pele, in 1987 from Lille at the expense of rivals AS Monaco by deploying a bizarre strategy that worked to perfection.
Tapei, 74, revealed that Abedi Pele who was the clubs principal target and also sought after by rivals Monaco had his medical results fabricated through connivance with himself and some officials of Monaco to allow the mercurial midfielder move to Marseille at a far less transfer fee.
Tapie who was slapped with a 2-year prison sentence for financial irregularities during his reign as Marseille president disclosed that with Pele scheduled to undergo a medical test at AS Monaco, he, conspired with an official of AS Monaco to concoct a falsehood that the Ghanaian player was HIV positive to end Monaco’s interest in the player.
Abedi Pele went on to achieve great things with Marseille, steering the team to win the Champions League with the side in 1993. He also won two French topflight titles in 1991 and 1992.
But in Abedi’s reaction on Kasapa FM in Accra, Pele who also doubles as the President of Division one side, Nania FC said that “ I was completely zoned out with regards to that decision by erstwhile Olympique Marseille president Bernard Tapie”.
Abedi Pele further revealed that “he was totally oblivious when it comes to that issue but he went too far. I feel he overstepped his boundaries if his real intention was to ward off competition from rivals. I am very glad the truth has been revealed now making whatever was said impertinently.”
Meanwhile Tapie’s revelations, according to football pundits, have certainly confirmed public perceptions that the game is never been a clean sport, especially with player transfers and match fixing.
Marseille was stripped of a Ligue 1 title in 1993 for allegedly fixing a league game against Valenciennes before their Champions League final versus AC Milan which the French side won during Tapei’s tenure as president.