The Norwegian women’s beach handball team have been fined after players opted to wear shorts instead of bikini bottoms during a European Championship match.
The European Handball Federation said on Monday it had fined the team 1,500 euros ($ 1,766) – 150 euros ($ 176) for each player – for “inappropriate clothing” in the medal match. bronze against Spain on Sunday.
The team’s decision to wear shorts did not comply with uniform rules “set out in the IHF Beach Handball Rules of the Game,” EFH said 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 4 inches, with a “cut close to the body” and a “cut at an angle upward to the top. of the leg ”.
During this time, men should wear shorts that are “not too loose” and 4 inches above the kneecap.
Team coach Eskil Berg Andreassen told CNN on Tuesday the team knew there would be a fine because they had been fighting for the right to wear alternatives to bikini bottoms for “several years. “.
He also warned that IHF uniform regulations could discourage women who do not want to wear bikini bottoms, including those in majority Muslim countries.
“We see in beach handball that girls from Arab countries are doing quite 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 crotch of around 3 inches.
The Norwegian Handball Association said on Twitter on Tuesday: “We are very proud of these girls who at the European Championships raised their voices and announced that ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.”
“At NHF, we support you and support you. Together we will continue to fight to change dress regulations so that players are allowed to play in clothes they are comfortable with, ”added the NHF.
In a joint statement released on Tuesday, the IHF and EHF said they “are committed to popularizing beach handball. All contributions in this regard and measures that will support the ambitions of this attractive sport are supported.”
The federations said the subject of women’s uniforms had already been discussed at the EHF congress in April 2021, and that the issue would be dealt with by the newly elected beach handball commission in August.