Women’s beach handball team fined for choosing shorts over bikini bottoms

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The European Handball Federation (EHF) said on Monday it had fined 1,500 euros ($ 1,766) – 150 euros ($ 176) for each player – on the team for “inappropriate clothing” during the match for the bronze medal 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 (IHF), female athletes must wear bikini bottoms with a maximum side width of 10 centimeters (3.9 inches), with a “tight fit” and “cut on an angle. up to the top of the leg. “

During this time, men should wear shorts “not too loose” and 10 centimeters above the kneecap.

Team coach Eskil Berg Andreassen told CNN on Tuesday that the uniform regulations could discourage women from playing the sport.

Paralympian Olivia Breen got angry after an official said her sprint shorts were
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He said the team knew there would be a fine because they had fought for the right to wear alternatives to bikini bottoms for “several years.”

Andreassen said the uniform rules were “a difficult thing for many players”, adding: “Maybe they will step away from the sport and choose another sport”.

Andreassen said the Norwegian team want women to be able to choose what to wear.

“It should be possible to choose – not to say that they have to play like that. If someone wants to play in bikini bottoms, they have the right to choose,” he said.

He also warned that IHF uniform regulations could discourage women who do not want to wear bikini briefs, including those in majority Muslim countries.

“We also have to make a decision regarding Arab girls – how we can involve more Arab girls in these types of sports.”

Andreassen said uniforms that cover “most of the body” should also be allowed to attract women, not only in beach handball but in other sports like soccer.

“We see in beach handball that girls from Arab countries do quite well – Oman, Kuwait … also Pakistan. But we never see an Arab women’s team, they don’t play beach handball,” he said. -he declares.

‘Enough is enough’

The Norwegian Handball Association (NHF) said the Twitter Tuesday: “We are very proud of these girls who during the European Championships raised their voices and announced that ENOUGH ENOUGH.

“At the NHF we stand behind you and support you. Together we will continue to fight to change the dress regulations, so that players are allowed to play in the 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.

CNN has contacted the EHF and IHF for further comment.

The clothing of elite female athletes has recently come under intense scrutiny.

Two-time Paralympic World Champion Olivia Breen revealed on Sunday that she was “speechless” when an England Championships official told the two-time Paralympic World Champion that her sprint briefs were “too short and inappropriate “.

CNN’s Li-Lian Ahlskog Hou contributed reporting.



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