CNThe Norwegian women’s beach handball team was fined after players chose to wear shorts instead of bikini bottoms during a European Championship match.
The European handball federation announced on Monday that it had imposed a fine of 1,500 euros (1,766 US dollars) – 150 euros for each player – on the team for “wrong clothing” in the bronze match against Spain on Sunday .
The team’s decision to wear shorts does not correspond to the uniform rules that are « defined in the IHF Beach Handball Rules of the Game », the EFH announced in a statement.
According to the regulations of the International Handball Federation, female athletes must wear bikini bottoms with a side width of no more than 10 cm, with a “tight fit” and “at an upward angle to the top of the leg”.
In the meantime, men must wear shorts that are “not too wide” and are 10 cm above the kneecap.
The team’s trainer, Eskil Berg Andreassen, told CNN on Tuesday that the team knew there would be a fine for fighting for the right to wear alternatives to bikini bottoms for « several years ».
He also warned that the IHF’s uniform rules may discourage women who do not want to wear bikini bottoms, including those from Muslim-majority countries.
“At beach handball we see that girls from Arab countries do very well – Oman, Kuwait, also Pakistan. But we never see an Arab women’s team, they don’t play beach handball, ”he said.
In Sunday’s game, the Norwegians wore tight, stretchy shorts with a stride length of about 3 inches.
The Norwegian Handball Federation said on Twitter on Tuesday: « We are very proud of these girls who raised their voices during the European Championship and announced that ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. »
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“We at NHF stand behind you and support you. Together we will continue to fight to change the dress code so that players can play in the clothes they are comfortable with, ”added the NHF.
In a joint statement on Tuesday, the IHF and EHF stated that they are “committed to popularizing beach handball. All related contributions and measures that support the ambitions of this attractive sport are supported. »
The associations announced that the topic of women’s uniforms had already been discussed at the EHF Congress in April 2021 and that the matter would be dealt with by the newly elected Beach Handball Commission in August.
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