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Marseille ends 17-year drought
by Paul Kennedy, March 28th, 2010 12:46AM
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[FRANCE]Marseille ended a long drought when it won its first title since 1993 by beating Bordeaux, 3-1, in the League Cup final at the Stade de France on Saturday.

Senegalese Souleymane Diawara, Mathieu Valbuena and Mathieu Chalme scored for OM, which had not won a title since its 1993 UEFA Champions League crown.

OM coach Didier Deschamps had captained the club in 1993, just as the VA-OM scandal hit. It involved Marseille's attempt to fix a French league match with Valenciennes.

Marseille president Bernard Tapie, a well-known businessman and politician, went to jail along with Jean-Pierre Bernes, the club's general manager. Three Valenciennes players -- including Argentine great Jorge Burruchaga -- and one Marseille player received suspended sentences.

Marseille had its 1993 French title taken away from it and was banned from defending its Champions League title -- the only one won by a French team.

The late Robert Louis-Dreyfus later took charge of Marseille and injected millions of dollars into the club, but it failed to win anything.

Afterward, Deschamps dedicated the win to Louis-Dreyfus.

"This is an immense joy for everyone," he said. "It is for the players, but also for a lot of people that follow Marseille closely. I want to dedicate this win to Robert Louis-Dreyfus, who was not lucky enough to see this. I also want to spare a thought for Pape Diouf. Without him I would not be here, I will not forget that."

Pape Diouf was the general manager who hired Deschamps. Diouf, a former player agent, was fired shortly before Louis-Dreyfus' death on July 4, 2009.



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