The Charlotte Observer
Women in a popular European sport continue to take a stand against wearing bikini bottoms, which players have long said are uncomfortable and degrading.
The Norwegian women’s beach handball team had planned on wearing thigh-length shorts in a match Saturday against Hungary to protest the sport’s dress code. Players said they knew they would face fines, but backed off on their uniform switch when they said they were threatened with disqualification from the European Beach Handball Championship, according to media reports. .
“Women should wear a bikini where the top should be a tight-fitting sports bra with deep openings at the arms,” according to the International Handball Federation said, IndianSports 11 reported. “The bottom must not be more than ten centimeters on the sides.”
A much-read tweet said the uniforms made the players feel “unnecessarily sexualized and uncomfortable.”
Before the match against Hungray, team captain Katinka Halvik spoke to national broadcaster NRK about the complications that they faced prior to the match, according to the Herald Sun.
“First we were told about a fine of 50 euros ($A80) per person per match, something that would have landed us a fine of about 4,850 euros,” Halvik said. “We accepted that. However, just before the match we were told that we will be disqualified if we play like that. So we had to go with the bikini bottoms.”
The European Handball Federation, however, said that “disqualification was never an option,” the Herald Sun reported.
Norway faced Spain in Sunday’s bronze medal match and lost, 21-18, 23-22. But the Norwegians won the uniform battle and wore their boy shorts.
And yes, they are now facing a fine, European Handball Federation said in a news release.
The head of Norway’s Handball Federation Kare Geir said the penalty would be paid, BBC reported.
Valerie Nicolas, the French team manager, told newspaper Verdens Gang that she backs Norway’s protest, Indian Sports 11 said.
“We have lost players due to the suits,” she said. “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. There is also discomfort associated with menstruation and not least religion.”
In comparison, the men’s uniform in the official “rules of the game” in the IHF beach handball document “consists of a tank top and shorts.”
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