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How Ghanaian Legend Abedi Ayew Pele was a Victim of Manipulation

It is said that the end justifies the means, in this case, it was plain and simple manipulation and overstepping of boundaries. As part of medicals, mandatorily, African players are subjected to blood tests which a one former Marseille president twisted to his advantage.

In an interview with French Media Le Monde, French businessman and politician Bernard Tapie revealed that he encouraged a false rumor claiming that Abedi Ayew Pele was HIV positive in 1987 in order to discourage any interest from competitors, AS Monaco.

The move to leak the false information to Monaco was intended to get the Ghanaian to sign for Olympique Marseille instead.

This shocking revelation comes to light at a time Tarpie was asked about the months he spent in jail for financial in-appropriation and match fixing between Valenciennes and Marseille in 1993.

” I was caught for stuff I did not do and not caught for stuff I did … I’m going to give you an example of something I did without getting caught … Hmmm, which one?” he said.

“I told him (Pele) that he will be subjected to a blood test, which is generally done for African players. But he should refuse and say he does not support it.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]“I told him (an employee of Monaco about the HIV rumour), ‘you know, we have escaped him beautifully. I did not take Abedi Pele. He is HIV positive’. I knew he will betray me and tell Monaco. He did not fail at that.[/perfectpullquote]

“So when Pele refused the medical test, Monaco said: Ah yes, it is true. He is HIV positive, so we won’t take him. And the next day, he signed for Marseille! It’s like that. You should win,”

One can’t begin to imagine that the success of one of the most legendary African players was built around a rather tragic and dishonest tactic.

It doesn’t take away the fact that Abedi Pele went ahead to win the French Division 1 league for Olympique Marseille in 1991 and 1992, in addition to the UEFA Champions League in 1993 before moving to Lyon in 1993.

Regardless of the tremendous achievements, there is a limit to achieving an end goal which Pele feels was overstepped.

“I was completely zoned out with regards to that decision by Olympique Marseille president Bernard Tapie. I was totally oblivious when it comes to that issue but he went too far.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]“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 impertinent,” Pele told local radio network.[/perfectpullquote]

Marseille was stripped of its French league title and was relegated to the second division after it was found that funds were misappropriated, revealing irregularities that Tapie was held responsible for during a time he led the club till 1994.



Featured Photo: Getty Images

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