The Norway women’s beach handball team had decided to wear shorts and go against dress code rules of the Europian Championship Match in Bulgaria, which prescribed bikini bottoms for women. The team has stated that the move was done to bring the sexualisation of women athletes and the double standards they are held against, to the fore.
The team was fined 1,500 euros after players opted to wear shorts at the championship match. The players were fined 150 euros each by the European Handball Federation which the Norwegian Handball Federation is going to pay. Along with this, popstar, P!nk offered to pay the fines imposed as well.
I’m VERY proud of the Norwegian female beach handball team FOR PROTESTING THE VERY SEXIST RULES ABOUT THEIR “uniform”. The European handball federation SHOULD BE FINED FOR SEXISM. Good on ya, ladies. I’ll be happy to pay your fines for you. Keep it up.
— P!nk (@Pink) July 25, 2021
The European Handball Federation (EHF) stated in response, that the incident was “a case of improper clothing” and that its disciplinary body has dealt with the same. The clothing was said to be improper as the shorts were not according to the Athlete Uniform Regulations laid down in the IHF Beach Handball Rules.
As per these rules, women athletes are to wear bikini bottoms “with a close fit and cut on an upward angle toward the top of the leg.” In addition, the bottoms can be no longer than four inches. For Men, shorts four inches above the knee are permitted.
The Norwegian Handball Federation has been raising concerns about the discriminatory rule since 2006.
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“We at NHF stand behind you and support you. Together we will continue to fight to change the rules for clothing so that players can play in the clothes they are comfortable with,” stated the NHF.
Martine Welfler, a Norwegian player stated to New York Times, “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.”
In a similar move by the the German women’s Olympic gymnastic team, members made the decision to wear full-length unitards instead of traditional leotards at the Tokyo Olympics. Team members stated that they wanted to combat sexualisation which has been associated with the sport for a long time.