French Scandal Good News For Serbian Handball?

Member of French handball national team, Nikola Karabatic, is one of eight players from the national champion club Montpellier under investigation on suspicion of game fixing.
In late September, an inquiry has been launched on suspicions that players deliberately threw a game for cash after their wives and girlfriends scooped 200.000 euros at the bookmakers.

Three of the accused, including Karabatic, were also members of France’s victorious national Olympic team – known as “Les Experts”.

The “Française des Jeux” (FDJ), a state organisation that oversees all betting activities in France, suspects that wives and girlfriends of the players were forewarned when they placed bets that Montpellier would lose what should have been an easy game against Brittany team Cesson-Sévigné.

Montpellier lost the game by three points (28-31) in the away match on May 12. Cesson-Sévigné were struggling to stay in France’s Division 1 while Montpellier were firmly at the top.

The FDJ raised the alert after a total of 5.000 euros they bet at three tobacconist-bookmakers netted them a haul of 200.000 euros.
Subsequently, the French handball team manager did not include Karabatic, named the best player at several European handball championships, into his latest selection.
However, the Handball Association of Serbia has not been phased by the inquiry against both Karabatic and his brother. The HAS intends to invite the player, whose mother is of Serbian origin, to play for the Serbian national team.

The HAS officials believe Karabatic would be automatically eligible for Serbian citizenship since he was born in the southern town of Nis. He was awarded the title of an honorary citizen of Nis in 2008.

According to regulations of the European Handball Federation, Karabatic could be playing for Serbia in autumn 2014.

While playing for France, Nikola Karabatic won the triple crown of Olympic, World and European champion. He won several European Handball Champions League titles while playing for French Montpellier and German THW Kiel.