AC Milan's 1-0 win over Leeds United in the 1973 European Cup Winners' Cup final should be reversed if new evidence is found to suggest the match was fixed, according to a European Member of Parliament (MEP). Richard Corbett, who represents the Yorkshire & Humber constituency at Brussels, has collected 15,000 signatures for a petition to be handed in to European football's governing body UEFA on May 16, the 36th anniversary of the match. Corbett is asking UEFA to investigate the final, and if new evidence is found that it was fixed it should be awarded to Leeds. "Following UEFA's recent crackdown on betting syndicates and match fixing, UEFA can now show the whole of Europe that even if a match happened many years ago, cheating and corruption will not be tolerated," he told Reuters in a telephone interview on Wednesday. "The integrity of football must be preserved. UEFA subsequently banned the referee because of suspicions surrounding his handling of the match but UEFA say they cannot reverse the result because of their 10-year statute of limitations. "That means that if you cover up a crime for long enough you can get away with it and I think UEFA should reverse that policy." Milan beat Leeds with a controversial goal from Luciano Chiarugi, who scored direct from an indirect free kick after four minutes of the game played in Salonika, Greece. Greek referee Christos Michas was subsequently investigated by his own football association on suspicion he had been bribed by Milan. He was then banned by UEFA from refereeing international club matches again. Soon after the final Leeds asked UEFA for a replay which was refused.
15 April 2009
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