Norwegian Volleyball Association supports handball team’s bikini protest. Minister: “Ridiculous!”

Beach volleyballPhoto: AP Photo / Dave Martin, File

On Tuesday, the Norwegian Volleyball Association supported the handball association’s fight for female players to play in optional clothing. It also wants changes in its own sport.

On Monday, the Norwegian women’s national team for beach handball was fined for wearing shorts instead of bikini bottoms during the bronze match in the European Championships. 

The regulations of the International Handball Federation (IHF) state that the women’s uniform is a bikini bottom and top. The men’s national teams, on the other hand, can play in singlets and shorts.

The women’s outfit has also been a recurring issue in beach volleyball since the sport became an Olympic sport in 1996. The Norwegian Volleyball Association understands the battle the handball association is now going through.

“Yes, absolutely. I think this is a blast from the past. It should not be the case in 2021 that this is a topic again,” volleyball chief Eirik Sørdahl told NTB about the “bikini order.”

No link

For the beach volleyball players, the order was lifted by the International Volleyball Association (FIVB) already in 2012. Since then, female athletes have been able to choose whether they want to play in bikini bottoms, tights, or shorts.

Nevertheless, the federal leadership in Norway points out that the change has not given the athletes “full freedom of choice.” This is due to the fact that the freedom of choice in the regulations is linked to the wording “cultural or religious reasons.” 

The volleyball association will now take action to ensure that the national team players have a freedom of choice that has no connection to the cause.

“I think the time is overdue to remove the wording related to religion and culture. FIVB can say that everything is fine with us because it says freedom of choice, but if the practitioners do not experience it on the basis that they have to cover themselves behind a religious and cultural issue, it is in reality not full freedom of choice,” Sørdahl said.

Board meeting

He told NTB that the matter would be a topic when the board of the Norwegian Volleyball Association meets next time on September 10. The discussion that takes place there will end with an inquiry to FIVB.

“I think it is natural that we make an inquiry to request that that sentence be deleted,” Sørdahl said.

“I think that the board is completely unequivocal on this, but it will probably take some time to get an answer from the FIVB,” he added.

In all activities under the auspices of the Norwegian Volleyball Association, there is freedom of choice when it comes to outfits, as long as the athletes have equal clothing.

Minister of Culture Abid Raja is among those who have reacted strongly to the beach handball national team being fined for violating the “bikini order.”

“This is completely ridiculous! So many attitude changes are needed in the old-fashioned international sports! My God!”, He wrote on Twitter on Monday.

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

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