bern-1984
bern-1984

On the 16th of May 1984 Aberdeen should have played in The Cup Winners’ Cup final in Basel against Juventus. This didn’t happen as Aberdeen were cheated by Porto in the semi final. Porto bribed the referee, and were later convicted and punished for it.

Fernando Barata, the former coach of first division side Farense, admitted this week that he acted as a go-between to bribe a Romanian referee when FC Porto beat Aberdeen in the 1984 semi-final of the competition when Alex Ferguson was in charge of the Scottish holders of the title.

The Irish Times 1996

That would have been Aberdeen’s third European final in a row. Up against the mighty Juventus managed by Trapattoni, with Michel Platini in his prime. France would a short time later win Euro 84 with Platini as top scorer. Would Aberdeen have won? Would they have made it three European trophies in a row? That would also have gotten them a place in their fourth European final in a row in the 1984 Super Cup, against Liverpool. A chance for revenge.

Who knows. Highly unlikely I’d say. About as likely as them beating Real Madrid in 1983.

In the second week of November, Fernando Barata, currently president of third division club Imortal, announced that on behalf of FC Porto president Jorge Nuno Pinto da Costa he ‘bought’ the Romanian referee, Ion lgna, before one of the semi-final legs of the Cup-Winners Cup tie against Aberdeen in 1984.

When Saturday Comes

One thing we do know for sure is, had the Aberdeen support descended on Basel, and The St Clair found a way to port in a land locked country, (the Rhine does flow through it…) there would have been a familiar sound all over the Swiss capital. The same sound that echoed around Gothenburg the previous year, the sound of exasperated Aberdonians saying ‘How much for a pint?!’.

Porto clearly learned their lesson from the scandal. Until they were caught doing it again in 2003. And they are still in football.

European soccer’s governing body UEFA excluded Porto from next season’s Champions League on Wednesday, saying the Portuguese club had tried to influence the outcome of matches by allegedly bribing referees in the 2003-04 season.

France 24

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