Norway's beach handball team fined for wearing shorts instead of bikini bottoms
22 July 2021, 14:03
Women are required to wear bikinis in official matches whereas men are allowed to wear shorts.
Norway's women's beach handball team have been fined for wearing shorts at the European Beach Handball Championships.
According to the rules of The International Handball Federation, women have to wear bikini bottoms "with a close fit and cut on an upward angle toward the top of the leg" in official games. Not only that but the sides of the bikini bottoms can be no longer than four inches. In contrast, men are allowed to wear shorts and there are very few restrictions on their length.
Norway's team are currently protesting the sexist rule by refusing to wear bikini bottoms but they've now been fined for it.
Following Sunday's match against Spain at the European Beach Handball Championships in Varna, Bulgaria, the Norwegian players were each charged €150 for breaking the rules and wearing shorts throughout the game. According to the New York Times, "Norway’s team had been planning for weeks to flout the rules to point out the double standard for female athletes."
Speaking about the sexist rule, Martine Welfler, one of the Norwegian players, said: "I don’t see why we can’t play in shorts. With so much body shaming and stuff like that these days, you should be able to wear a little bit more when you play.”
Kare Geir Lio, the head of the Norwegian Handball Federation, has since stated that they will pay the fine but revealed that Norway have made multiple complaints about the bikini bottom requirement since 2006 and "Nothing has happened."
Meanwhile, French national team manager, Valérie Nicolas, revealed that players have quit due to the uniform regulations. "We have lost players due to the suits. The players tell me they are uncomfortable, feel naked, and watched. It is a sport with a lot of movement and you are hindered by the bikini."
Following Norway's protest, Jessica Rockstroh, a spokeswoman for the International Handball Federation, said that she didn't know the reason behind the rules and would be "looking into it internally".
As it stands, no official rule changed have been announced.