Norwegian Beach Handball Team Fined For Not Wearing Bikini Bottoms at Competition

July 20, 2021

By: Sarah DiLuzio

Photo: Maxim Tumanov / Sputnik via AP

Norway’s women’s beach handball team has been fined €1500 after they did not wear bikini bottoms at a European competition.

The players decided to wear shorts against Spain in their bronze medal match at the European Beach Handball Championship in Varna, Bulgaria on Sunday. This violated the regulations of the Internation Handball Federation (IHF), which requires the players to wear “fitted, low-cut bikini bottoms.” 

As a result, the Disciplinary Committee of the European Handball Federation (EHF) fined the Norwegian team €150 per player for violating the international rules on Monday. The Norwegian Handball Federation (NHF) president Kare Geir told AFP “of course we would pay any fine. We are all in the same boat.”

The Norwegian players have previously said that the bikini bottoms are too degrading or impractical to wear. Ahead of the European competition, the players had approached the EHF to ask for permission to play in shorts and were told that any breaches of the rules would result in a fine. 

Meanwhile, many Norwegians are expressing their outrage over the fine. Eirik Sørdahl, president of the Norwegian Volleyball Federation, said “it’s 2021, it shouldn’t even be an issue.” Norway’s culture minister Abid Raja said the fine was “completely ridiculous”, tweeting the question “how much attitudinal change is needed in the macho and conservative international world of sport?”

An EHF spokesperson said in an email to AFP that “the EHF is committed to moving this issue forward in the interest of its member federations, but it should be made clear that a change in the rules can only happen at the IHF level.”