In the Vélodrome, OM supporters' last farewell to

By with AFP

Thousands of Olympique de Marseille fans came to the Stade Velodrome on Thursday to bid a final farewell to Bernard Tapie, the Parisian who was respected for leading the club to the roof of European football.

At 6:25 p.m., a few seconds of silence remained as a tribute to the entry of the coffin of the former OM president (1986-1994), who died of cancer on Sunday at his Paris home. Then there was applause for a final tribute to the club that led the team to victory in the European Champions League in 1993, the only French football to win.

A few moments ago, 3,000 or so Olympic fans gathered at a podium in the Vélodrome, were able to relive the first half of this famous final against AC Milan, on giant stadium screens, up to the victorious Basile Poli goal. minute 44.

‘Not talking about the past’

The casket, covered with a Marseille flag and the other bearing the image of the former businessman, as well as the sashes of the seven OM fan clubs, are in the center of the stadium. Then the cup with the big ears is brought and also placed over the body.

Micheline Duval, 61, a member of the Winners fan club and a housekeeper, came from head to toe in the club’s colors, including the anti-Covid mask, “praising and anti-Parisian” Micheline Duval, in honor of the only Paris recognized by Marseille. He insists, “it got us to the top”.

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“The honor that has been given to him is incomparable to what he deserves. We should not talk about the past,” she cried, postponing the ex-leader’s judicial convictions with legendary chatter: “We must always stop retracting his convictions, he was convicted out of jealousy and sent to prison because he was “. on my way “.

“want to win”

In the VIP pavilion, all of Marseille’s political gratitude is present: Socialist Mayor of the City Benoit Bayan, LR President of the City, and Department Martine Vassal, LR President of the District Renaud Muselier.

On the giant screens of the stadium, the pictures parade: Bernard Tapie in the locker room, with his players or on the edge of the lawn.

Anthony, 31, a city employee, insists, “When you’re a pro, it was necessary to come today.” The young man retains the “zealousness”, “charisma” and “the desire to triumph” in the bragging media man who owns the La Provence group. “A character stuck with OM,” even if “at first we were wary, because he was Parisian,” he admits.

The fan prefers to keep the 1993 coronation and not hold him accountable for his multiple judicial convictions: “We all have our dark side.” against Valencia in 1993.

On Friday fans will be able to accompany Bernard Tapie, behind the funeral caravan, for the last time, in procession between the Old Port and the Major’s Cathedral, where his funeral mass will be celebrated at 11:00 am.

After that, the burial will take place in the Mazarg cemetery in the southern regions of the city.

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