October 3, 2021 An image is displayed on the big screen in tribute to French businessman and former Olympique de Marseille president Bernard Tapie before the match REUTERS

Bernard Tapie, a French businessman and former Olympique de Marseille (OM) president who led the soccer club to the Champions League title in 1993, died on Sunday aged 78.

Tapie, whose business interests also included a stake in sportswear company Adidas, had been suffering from stomach cancer for several years.

President Emmanuel Macron expressed his condolences to Tapie’s family in a statement, saying he and his wife “have been touched by the news of the death of Bernard Tapie, whose ambition, energy and enthusiasm were a source of inspiration for generations of French people”.

A charismatic president of Marseille from 1986 to 1994, he was at the helm when OM beat AC Milan 1-0 in the final of the Champions League. He was later sent to prison for corruption in a match-fixing scandal in the French first division.

“Olympique de Marseille learned with deep sadness of the passing of Bernard Tapie. He will leave a great void in the hearts of the Marseillais and will forever remain in the legend of the club,” OM said in a statement.

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