Money & Banking
"WOW!" Beach handball team responds to Pink's amazing offer
Popstar Pink has offered to pay the fines issued to the Norwegian beach handball team for wearing shorts instead of bikini bottoms during a match.
After the match between Norway and Spain last weekend, the European Handball Federal (EHF) handed the Norwegians’ a $240 fine per player for “improper clothing”.
The organisation said the shorts violated the athlete uniform regulations.
The fines, totalling $2410, caused widespread backlash with athletes and celebrities taking to social media to criticise the decision, including Pink.
The popstar even said she was “happy to pay” the fines for the team, and praised them for protesting the “very sexist” uniform rules.
In response, the team shared the tweet on their Instagram Stories and thanked Pink for her support.
I’m VERY proud of the Norwegian female beach handball team FOR PROTESTING THE VERY SEXIST RULES ABOUT THEIR “uniform”. The European handball federation SHOULD BE FINED FOR SEXISM. Good on ya, ladies. I’ll be happy to pay your fines for you. Keep it up.
— P!nk (@Pink) July 25, 2021
“WOW! Thank you so much for the support,” the team wrote.
The ruling also drew criticism from Norway officials, who argue that the womens’ uniform requirements were not practical.
“In 2021, it shouldn’t even be an issue,” Norwegian Volleyball Federation president Eirik Sordahl told national news agency NTB.
While beach volleyball players have not been required to wear bikinis since 2012, rules from the International Handball Federation (IHF) state that “female athletes must wear bikini bottoms” which have a “close fit”, be “cut on an upward angle towards the top of the leg”, and a side depth of 10 centimetres or less.
Male players, on the other hand, are allowed to wear shorts.
Norway asked the EHF for permission to play in shorts ahead of the tournament, but were told that rule violations would be punishable by fines.
Here are the rules for the men’s vs. women’s uniforms. Ridiculously pic.twitter.com/8wDXG22sTd
— KT SLP (@MrsThornSLP) July 25, 2021
The team complied until their last match.
“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,” EHF spokesperson Andrew Barringer said in an email.
Clothing has been an issue in beach sports for a long time, with some women players finding bikinis degrading or difficult to play in.
The Norwegian Handball Association (NHF) had been pushing for changes to the uniform regulations and planned to protest with the thigh-length tights the team wore.
Norway’s team captain told Norwegian broadcaster NRK that the team felt forced to wear bikini bottoms.
“So then we are forced to play with panties. It is so embarrassing,” she said.
“First we were told about a fine of 50 euros ($AUD 80) per person per match, something that would have landed us a fine of about 4,850 euros ($AUD 7760). We accepted that. However, just before the match we were told that we will be disqualified if we play like that. So we had to go with bikini bottoms.”
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