Norway Women's Beach Handball Team Fined For Not Wearing Bikini Bottoms
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The team flouted clothing regulations for their European Beach Handball Championships bronze medal match against Spain in Bulgaria on Sunday (18 July) - which they ultimately lost.
The European Handball Federation (EHF) subsequently handed the team a €1,500 (£1,300) fine for 'improper clothing'.
In a statement, the EHF said: "The Disciplinary Commission at the Beach Handball EURO 2021 has dealt with a case of improper clothing.
"In the bronze medal game against Spain on Sunday the team of Norway played with shorts that are not according to the Athlete Uniform Regulations defined in the IHF Beach Handball Rules of the Game.
"The Disciplinary Commission decided to impose a fine of €150 per player, for a total of €1,500."
Uniform regulations state: "Women should wear a bikini where the top should be a tight-fitting sports bra with deep openings at the arms.
"The bottom must not be more than ten centimetres on the sides."
However, many players feel bikini bottoms should not be mandatory, arguing they are degrading and impractical.
Norway's Handball Federation (NHF) has backed the players and agreed to pay the fine.
In a statement, the NHF said: "We are very proud of these girls who are at the European Championships in beach handball.
"They raised their voice and told us that enough is enough.
"We are the Norwegian Handball Federation and we stand behind you and support you.
"We will continue to fight to change the international regulations for attire, so that players can play in the clothing they are comfortable with."
Norway had asked for permission to wear shorts before the championships, but the EHF warned this would be a fineable breach of regulations.
A motion to amend the current rules will be discussed in the coming months.
Kare Geir Lio, the head of the NHF, previously told AFP: "It should be a free choice within a standardised framework.
"The most important thing is to have equipment that athletes are comfortable with."