Ztwo pairs of referees Handball World Championship are confronted by the Danish television station “TV2” with the suspicion of “match fixing”. Both teams are among the most renowned in handball; one was in action last Friday during the preliminary round of the World Cup. In total, “TV2” suspects eight pairs of referees of manipulating games. The allegations relate to 26 incidents in the Champions League, the Southeast European Seha League and international matches between September 2016 and November 2017. The games affected include a game by THW Kiel (against Veszprem) and one by SG Flensburg-Handewitt (in Kielce).
The source of the Danish broadcaster’s reporting are investigations by the sports data analysts from “Sportradar”, who looked through reports from seven different betting providers and apparently discovered anomalies. “Sportradar” reported suspiciously high bets on interim results or final results such as “tie at halftime” or “tie at the end”. The analysis of the strange whistles has been available since 2018, but was only published for the World Cup in Poland and Sweden. According to “TV2”, the European Handball Association EHF Already aware of the “Sportradar” report in 2018, but did not react.
Trust in the referees
While the Danish match-fixing expert Chris Kronow Rasmussen said that both teams should have been suspended at the time, a pair of referees protested their innocence to “TV2” on Friday. The other suspected team used at the World Cup did not comment. The world association IHF wrote about the allegations against the referees: “The IHF is informed about the situation and is in contact with the EHF. We will not comment further on the subject until there is evidence that would justify legal action against the referee teams.” They have full confidence in the referees.
The EHF also issued a statement. Accordingly, the results of the “Sportradar” report were passed on to the Austrian authorities.
Meanwhile, those responsible for the German Handball Federation (DHB) reacted sharply to Christian Schwarzer’s criticism of the use of female referees at this men’s World Cup. “It’s a pity that such a great national player is maneuvered offside in such a way,” said DHB President Andreas Michelmann, “I find this statement absolutely out of date and out of place.” Schwarzer had said: “I have no idea how to put it.” The idea came up to let women whistle for the men.” In Poland and Sweden, Maike Merz and Tanja Kuttler are working as a German team.