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SBD Global/September 27, 2012/FranchisesPrint All
French Handball League (LNH) club Montpellier is accused of "voluntarily losing a league match last May to allow its players' relatives to pocket large sums of cash," according to L'EQUIPE. The police "suspect that around 10 members of the club," both players and management personal, intentionally lost their May 12 encounter with Cesson-Sévigné. Eight players are believed to have been involved, including three members of France's Gold Medal team from London: Luka Karabatic, Nicolas Karabatic, and Samuel Honrubia. Relatives allegedly bet €5,000 ($6,422) on the club losing at Cesson-Sévigné (28-31), to win a total of around €200,000 ($256,860). The result "was very surprising" since the club "was smashing the top flight" and Cesson-Sévigné was in the relegation zone (L'EQUIPE, 9/25). LE MONDE reported that the total bets placed were "four or five times superior to what is expected for a match of the sort." The Française des Jeux (operator of France's national lottery games including sports betting) registered "significant bets at halftime of the game" forecasting a loss by Montpellier. Cesson-Sévigné President Philippe Barberet said, "Nobody noticed anything during the game, nobody could have doubted anything. I am really shocked by this story. I don't understand" (LE MONDE, 9/26). FAZ.net reported that the 2011 French Athlete of the Year Nicolas Karabatic said through his manager that he is "not up to date and surprised about the news." Montpellier is currently in north Germany to prepare for its Champions League match against SG Flensburg-Handewitt on Thursday (FAZ.net, 9/26).