The Norwegian women’s handball team decided to wear spandex shorts instead of the required bikini bottoms during a match in the Euro 2021 tournament and were fined $ 1,700 for “inappropriate clothing”. American singer and songwriter Alecia Moore (aka Pink) supports them in their fight against restrictive guidelines by offering to pay the fine for them.
According to the International Handball Federation (IHF) game rules which have been in place since at least 2014, men are allowed to wear a tank top and shorts while women are required to wear “bikini tops and bottoms”. Specifically, the stockings should have “a tight fit and cut at an upward angle towards the top of the leg.” Norwegian Sports Federation President Kåre Geir Lio said in an interview with NBC News That it’s not [appropriate clothing for] the activity they play in the sand. It’s also different from the rules they follow in Norway, which allow them to train and compete in “whatever they want, like boys.”
The team asked to wear the uniforms they trained in at the start of the tournament, but were threatened with possible disqualification. However, when it comes to the bronze medal game, she decided to make a statement.
Their actions caught the attention of news companies around the world, and Pink showed her support by tweeting that she would gladly pay the fines for them.
I am VERY proud of the Norwegian Women’s Beach Handball Team TO PROTECT AGAINST VERY GENDER-BASED RULES ABOUT THEIR “uniform”. The European Handball Federation SHOULD RECEIVE A FINE FOR SEXISM. Yours, ladies. I will be happy to pay your fines for you. Keep it up.
– P! Nk (@Pink) July 25, 2021
The European Handball Federation has published a declaration about the sanction, specifying that because of this “case of inappropriate clothing”, the “disciplinary commission decided to impose a fine of 150 € per player, for a total of 1,500 €”, that is to say 1,765 $.
The Norwegian Minister of Culture was also angered by the actions of the commission. She tweeted to the IHF saying “Dear @ihf_info. Can you please stop the forced bikini nonsense at your beach handball matches? It’s embarrassing, shameful and sexist. You are ruining both the sport and your own reputation.
Lio explained that Norway has been campaigning against the revealing uniform regulations since 2006. They are expected to submit a rule change motion at an extraordinary IHF congress in November 2021.
This is not the first demonstration in the name of sartorial freedom this year. In February, some beach volleyball players threatened to boycott when the Qatar Volleyball Association proposed to ban bikini bottoms.
The International Volleyball Federation also updated its rules ahead of the 2020 Olympics to allow women to play in shorts and t-shirts, or any form of swimsuit.
After years of women fighting for the right to reveal far too much in public, we are now seeing backlash for them trying to cover up. What an interesting time we are living in.