Norway’s beach handball team have been fined by the European Handball Federation for refusing to wear bikini bottoms during their bronze medal game.
Norway opted to wear shorts against Spain in Bulgaria to protest against the International Handball Federation’s bikini-bottom regulation. The rules state that women must wear bikini bottoms “with a close fit and cut on an upward angle toward the top of the leg.” The sides of the bikini bottoms must be no more than four inches.
Norway were fined €1,500 (€150 for each player) for “improper clothing,” according to a statement from the European Handball Association’s Disciplinary Commission.
“I don’t see why we can’t play in shorts,” said Martine Welfler, one of the Norwegian players. “With so much body shaming and stuff like that these days, you should be able to wear a little bit more when you play.”
It is said that Norway had been planning to protest against the double standards against female athletes for some time. Male players can wear shorts as long four inches above their knees as long as they are “not too baggy.”
Ahead of the tournament, Norway asked the EHF for permission to play in shorts but were told that breaches of the rules were punishable by fines. They complied with the rules until their final game.
Norwegian Volleyball Federation president Eirik Sordahl has called the fine “embarrassing.” “In 2021, it shouldn’t even be an issue,” he said.