‘Impractical and insulting’:
Beach handball women refuse to wear bikinis – and have to pay a fine
the color Women’s beach handball in Norway took off the mandatory bikini at a European Championship match and instead wore longer pants – as a protest against greater self-determination. The European Handball Federation imposed a fine for violating the dress code.
Norwegian beach handball players have been fined 1,500 euros after protesting at the European Championships in Varna, Bulgaria, against the umbrella organization’s dress code. In the duel for third place with Spain, the players wore somewhat longer track pants instead of the mandatory bikini bottoms. The European Handball Federation (EHF) disciplinary committee assessed this on Monday as a “case of improper clothing”.
The IHF states that men must wear shorts during beach handball matches that end “at least ten centimeters” above the knee. On the other hand, players are required to wear tight bikini bottoms and a “maximum ten centimeters” side width.
National player Katinka Haltvik told public broadcaster NRK that changing to slightly longer pants was a “spontaneous act”. The announcer stated that the choice had already come forward to not have to play in bikini shorts before the first match. The umbrella organization refused.
“Of course we will pay any fine,” the head of the Norwegian Handball Federation, Keir Gere Liu, told AFP on Monday even before the verdict was announced. It is important “to have free choice within a unified framework”.
The topic was discussed several times in the run-up to the European Championships, in which German beach handball players won the gold medal. Many players find the described bikini impractical or even offensive. Prior to the tournament in Varna (Bulgaria), the Norwegian Federation asked the European Handball Federation (EHF) for permission to play in shorts. However, the Egyptian Fund indicated that violations of the rules are punishable by a fine.