Yesterday Serb, today Qatar: The National Change

Germany’s quarterfinals opponent Katar offers a colourful mix of nationalities at the Handball World Cup. But buying top stars is not so spontaneous.

For three years the players must not have played for their home country before wearing the new country’s jersey. Unlike the European EHF, the World Federation of the IMF is more relaxed about changing nationalities: the IMF does not require the citizen to have lived in the country for twelve months. The EHF does.

In contrast to football players who have established themselves with their first mandatory game in the A-National Team, handballers can migrate to and from no matter how many country games they have completed for a nation. Example of Siarhei Rutenka, who was born Belarusian in the meantime as Slovenian and Spanish and is now Belarusian again. Or Talant Dujshebaev. The native Kyrgyz fought for the USSR, for Russia and then for Spain for Olympic medals and World Cup titles.

The German team has integrated few foreigners into its history: Andrej Klimovets (formerly Belarus), Oleg Velyky (formerly Ukraine) and Bogdan Wenta (formerly Poland) are the outstanding examples of German actors with a migration background.

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