Norway's beach handball team hit by fine after dropping bikinis for shorts
Nation's sports minister calls rule 'ridiculous,' says attitudes need to change
Norway's beach handball team has been fined $1,764 US for being improperly dressed after the women wore shorts instead of bikini bottoms at a European championship match in Bulgaria.
The European Handball Federation (EHF) said in a statement that its disciplinary commission had dealt with "a case of improper clothing" in the bronze medal match against Spain.
It added that the shorts were "not according to the Athlete Uniform Regulations defined in the IHF Beach Handball Rules of the Game."
The fine worked out to about $177 US a player and was criticized by the Norwegian federation, while the country's Sports Minister Abid Raja said it was "completely ridiculous" and that attitudes needed to change.
Vi er kjempestolte over disse jentene som under EM hevet stemmen og ga beskjed om at NOK ER NOK! Vi i NHF står bak dere og støtter dere. Sammen skal vi fortsette å kjempe for å endre regelverket for bekledning, slik at spillerne får spille i det tøyet de er komfortable med! <a href="https://t.co/MmfiMtVz2Q">pic.twitter.com/MmfiMtVz2Q</a>—@NORhandball
The Norwegian federation said on Twitter it was proud of the women for standing up and saying enough was enough.
"We at NHF stand behind you and support you. Together we will continue to fight to change the rules for clothing, so that players can play in the clothes they are comfortable with," it added.
Beach Handball's rules stipulate that female players must wear tops and bikini bottoms. Men wear tank tops and shorts.
"Athletes' uniforms and accessories contribute to helping athletes increase their performance as well as remain coherent with the sportive and attractive image of the sport," the uniform regulations add.
"Female athletes must wear bikini bottoms … with a close fit and cut on an upward angle toward the top of the leg."