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HANDBALL

French handball star Karabatic found guilty of match-fixing

French handball player Nikola Karabatic
French handball player Nikola Karabatic AFP Photo/ Pascal Guyot

The 31-year-old star player Nikola Karabatic has been found guilty in a betting scandal during a French championship handball match in May 2012. He was fined 10,000 euros for his part in fixing a match that attracted 103 euros in bets.

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 Karabatic was found guilty of fraud over his role in a match-fixing scandal on Friday.

The court in Montpellier asked him to pay a fine of 10,000 euros.

None of the 16 people, including seven players, indicted in the case were given jail time.

The prosecution had demanded a three-month suspension prison sentence and a larger fine of 30,000 euros against Karabatic over a match that was deemed to have been rigged.

For the court the players involved in the scandal betted - or asked friends to bet - on the mid-term match between Montpellier and Cesson in May 2012, during which they were deemed to have deliberately lost.

Montpellier lost 31-28 to Cesson, having already won the French title.

The game attracted bets of 103,000 euros - off the charts for a sport that usually attracts just a few thousands euros.

The Serbian-born star player has always denied having taken any part in the bets.

One of his lawyers, Michaël Corbier, said the defendants would appeal against the judgement.

Other players were fined between 1,500 and 30,000 euros - the former given to Nikola Karabatic’s brother Luka and the latter given to Mladen Bojinovic.

Players will have to pay compensations to La Française des jeux - the body which oversees the national lotteries and betting - which detected the unusual amount of bets placed during the rigged game.

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