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AC Milan: Marco van Basten accuses Serie A of making sure Napoli won 1989-90 title

AC Milan great Marco van Basten accuses Serie A of doing ‘everything possible’ to make sure Diego Maradona’s Napoli won the title in 1990… with three-time Ballon d’Or winner still furious at alleged ‘refereeing scandals’ against his side

  • Former AC Milan striker Marco van Basten has given a controversial interview
  • Van Basten accused Serie A of favouring Napoli in the 1989-90 Serie A title race
  • He felt there were ‘many refereeing errors in favour of Napoli’ in that season 

Marco van Basten has dramatically claimed Napoli’s 1989-90 league title ‘was won inside the offices’, believing favouritism was at play at Serie A to help Diego Maradona and Co win it all.

In a wide-ranging interview with Spanish outlet Diario AS, Van Basten explained how, in his opinion, AC Milan had the title taken out of their hands.

‘They did everything possible to give it to Napoli,’ he said.

Former AC Milan striker Marco van Basten has alleged the 1989-90 Serie A title 'was won inside the offices' by Napoli as he remains furious at 'refereeing scandals' against his side that season

Former AC Milan striker Marco van Basten has alleged the 1989-90 Serie A title ‘was won inside the offices’ by Napoli as he remains furious at ‘refereeing scandals’ against his side that season

‘The new rules in those years allowed both the winners of the previous year and the winners of the title to participate in the Champions League.

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‘We had already won the European Cup and so they did everything they could not to win the Scudetto and send two more Italian teams to the top European competition.’

There is a feisty relationship between Napoli and their rivals in the north and Van Basten’s comments will likely cause a great deal of controversy in Italy.

Van Basten played for Milan from 1987 to 1995 before succumbing to recurring ankle problems.

Diego Maradona (pictured in 1989-90) was the leader of the Napoli side that defeated AC Milan

Diego Maradona (pictured in 1989-90) was the leader of the Napoli side that defeated AC Milan

A three-time FIFA Ballon d’Or winner, the Dutchman scored 125 goals for Milan across all competitions in an eight-year spell at the club and is widely regarded as one of the best centre-forwards of all time.

But despite winning four Serie A titles, losing out in 1989-90 to Napoli still haunts the legendary Dutchman.

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‘The refereeing scandals against Milan, Inter and Verona were incredible while there were continuous favours for Napoli,’ he added.

‘The match that was given to them in Bergamo against Atalanta for the episode of Alemao was something absurd. Napoli won that Scudetto inside the offices.’

Heading into that game in April 1990, Milan are leading Napoli by one point and both sides are being held 0-0 in their respective games; Milan against Bologna and Napoli against Atalanta.

Van Basten, now 56, gave the explosive interview on that season to Spanish outlet Diario AS

Van Basten, now 56, gave the explosive interview on that season to Spanish outlet Diario AS

With 15 minutes to go Napoli midfielder Alemao is struck by a coin from the stands and it is determined he cannot carry on – he is sent to hospital for trauma checks.

Regulation at the time stated that if a player is forced to leave the pitch due to violent acts committed by rival fans, the team that suffered the damage can be awarded a 2-0 win retrospectively from the Sports Judge.

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Both Milan’s game and Napoli’s game finished 0-0, Napoli appealed to the judge on the grounds of Alemao’s exit from the match and they were awarded the win, leading to Van Basten’s ire.

Napoli and Serie A are yet to respond to Van Basten’s allegations to AS.

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