Good, better, “Les Bleus”: French handballers have crowned themselves the sole world record champion. In the final, the winner of the title for the indestructible Nikola Karabatic stopped the winning streak of Emperor Qatar and won his fifth World Cup title.
In Doha, the French won the final game against the host with 25:22 (14:11) and remained the only team in the tournament without defeat. France qualified for the Olympic Games 2016, Qatar for the World Cup 2017 in France.
The French are both world and European champions and Olympic winners for the second time due to their success. Qatar was the first non-European team to win a World Cup medal. Before 15.000 spectators at Lusail Multipurpose Hall, Karabatic was the best pitcher for France with five hits. Under the eyes of Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani Zarko Markovic met seven times for Qatar.
Previously Poland had won the game by place three against the deposed defending champion Spain with 29:28 (24:24, 13:13) after extension. Germany occupied seventh place.
Even though Qatar could not celebrate as the first non-European world champion, the world selection had been suspicious since the K.o. Games passed. On the one hand, the referees from Croatia (Eighth Final), Macedonia (Quarterly Final) and Serbia (Semi-Final) were criticised for at least debatable game management in the host parties. The Poles were the most obvious after the semi-final defeat, who gave a mocking applause to Gespann Dusan Stoijkovic and Nenad Nikolic.
Also the naturalisation policy promoted by seemingly endless financial possibilities aroused anger among many participants. At the edge of the World Cup, the top nations met to discuss the issue. According to the rule, a player may run for another country if he has not played for one nation for three years.” I am not happy with the regulation as it is now,”said Bernhard Bauer, president of the German Handball Association (DHB). In a handballer’s life it is possible to change nationality three or four times.” And that cannot be,”said Bauer.
The discussion sparked by the World Cup in Qatar and the actions of the host provoked the President of the International Federation of the IMF at the final press conference. Hassan Moustafa insisted that not the IMF Council but the IMF Congress would decide the rules for the change of nationality as well.” Qatar is taking advantage of the opportunities offered by Congress,”said the Egyptian,”I have to follow the decisions of Congress. If I did not do so, I would have to resign.”
Sheikh Joaan Bin Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, president of the World Cup Organization Committee, informed the Moustafa sitting next to him that only four players had been naturalized. And the Egyptian took the rise of the multicultural force as an opportunity to defend Qatar’s actions, because the Gulf region is of great importance for trade.” We are very happy to promote our sport in this region. We need Qatar, we need Kuwait, we need these countries for our sport, because they have many opportunities,”said Moustafa.