The Norwegian women’s beach volleyball team is refusing to wear bikini bottoms at a recent match, which could result in them facing a fine for not wearing the approved uniform.
Norwegian Handball Federation president Kare Geir Lio told the AFP that the Federation would pay any fine that the players faced, which reportedly could be up to 50 euros per player.
“Of course we would pay any fine,” Lio said. “We are all in the same boat. “The most important thing is to have equipment that athletes are comfortable with.”
On Sunday, the Norwegian squad played against Spain at the European Beach Handball Championship in Bulgaria and chose to wear shorts instead of bikini bottoms. The European Handball Federation confirmed it was aware of the situation but said no decision had yet been made regarding any possible fine or punishment.
“The EHF is committed to bring this topic forward in the interest of its member federations, however, it must also be said that a change of the rules can only happen at IHF level,” spokesman Andrew Barringer said.
The Norwegian beach volleyball girls wanted to play in these shorts instead of in bikini bottoms which they found too revealing but were threatened by the EC tournament organizer with fines if they wore anything covering more than 10cm of their butts pic.twitter.com/LHSxXz91CM
— Tradia (@amalieskram) July 15, 2021
Women in sports have long had to fight for their right to wear whatever the hell they want while competing. In 2018, Serena Williams was criticized by French Tennis Federation president Bernard Giudicelli for wearing a catsuit during the tournament.
Fortunately, the Norwegian team should not face these same issues at the Olympics because teams are not required to wear bikinis. That was the case up until 2012, as bikinis were the assigned uniform for women’s beach volleyball players at the Olympics. But that strict dress code was changed by the Federation of International Volleyball to be more inclusive. In fact, the uniform guidelines from the FIVB state that shorts are an option, and in 2016, the Egyptian women’s beach volleyball team wore long-sleeved shirts and pants at the games in Rio.