Norway’s female handball team has been fined for not wearing the official dress code demanded by the Beach Handball EURO 2021.
The team has been fined around $175 per player for wearing shorts instead of the bikini bottoms required by the federation.
Many call this a totally sexualized approach by the federation. Even the famous Tennis player, Billie Jean King called this out as “sexism” towards female athletes, saying that it must stop and questioning why male players don’t have to abide by the same rules.
“King also revealed that females were required to not cover more than 10cm on any sides.”
In fact, the Norwegian Handball Federation has also publicly supported the team for not dressing in inappropriate clothing.
EHF said in a statement:
“In the bronze medal game against Spain on Sunday the team of Norway played with shorts that are not according to the Athlete Uniform Regulations defined in the IHF Beach Handball Rules of the Game,”
Norway’s Handball Federation (NHF) announced they would pay the fine for their players, also backing their players in a post to the team’s Instagram page:
“We are very proud of these girls who are at the European Championships in beach handball,” read the statement. “They raised their voice and told us that enough is enough. We are the Norwegian Handball Federation and we stand behind you and support you. We will continue to fight to change the international regulations for attire, so that players can play in the clothing they are comfortable with.”
Kare Geir Lio, the head of NHF, earlier told AFP that
“ Attire for the players should be a free choice within a standardized framework. The most important thing is to have equipment that athletes are comfortable with.”
The governing body’s rules state: “Women should wear a bikini where the top should be a tight-fitting sports bra with deep openings at the arms. The bottom must not be more than ten centimeters on the sides.”
Coming to the rescue, Pink (the singer) came forward on Twitter this Saturday, announcing that she will personally support them by paying the fines of all players.
“I’m VERY proud of the Norwegian female beach handball team FOR PROTESTING THE VERY SEXIST RULES ABOUT THEIR ‘uniform,'” wrote Pink. “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.”
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 Disciplinary Commission at the Beach Handball EURO 2021 has dealt with a case of improper clothing,” the statement read. “In the bronze medal game against Spain on Sunday the team of Norway played with shorts that are not according to the Athlete Uniform Regulations defined in the IHF Beach Handball Rules of the Game.”
With the help of so much public support from all over the world, the team stated,
“We are also very proud about making a statement in the bronze final by playing in shorts instead of required bikini bottoms! We are overwhelmed by the attention and support from all over the world!”
Bravo Norwegian Women's Beach Handball team for standing up to the rules regarding the hypersexualized uniforms female players are expected to wear while playing. There is no excuse for forcing women to wear tiny bikinis while men can wear shorts. Enough is enough! pic.twitter.com/3j0guEbe8U
— JaneDoeMD (@Caerage) July 21, 2021
The team thanked everyone who supported them. The uproar has caused the federation to reconsider its rules and will hopefully allow for a (much-needed!) change in uniform.