Five countries call to ‘remove bikini requirement for female athletes’

In a letter to the International Handball Federation (IHF), five European countries asked for a review of the rules regarding the uniforms of female handball players.

The letter, signed by the sports ministers of the five countries, stated that the IHF regulation should be reconsidered within the scope of ‘gender equality’:

“We call on the International Handball Federation and other international sports organizations to allow them to dress more appropriately for athletes, while considering performance and comfort.”

The statement called for steps to be taken to encourage not only female athletes, but also all athletes, regardless of whether they are male or female, to stay in the sport.

Danish Sports Minister Ane Halsboe-Joergensen touched on the issue in her statement on Thursday and stated that the current dress code is out of date and does not suit her country. “I have a hard time understanding the reasons why female athletes are forced to wear bikinis,” the minister said.

Norwegian women’s handball players who wore shorts instead of bikinis during a match in Bulgaria in July were fined by the IHF.

The reason for the fine given to Norwegian female players was shown as ‘inappropriate clothing’.

The penalty decision of the International Handball Federation drew the reaction of many countries in Europe.

Norwegian Culture Minister Abid Raja called the penalty given to Norwegian players “absolute nonsense”.

According to the rules of the International Handball Federation, while male athletes can wear T-shirts and shorts, this is prohibited for women.

The French women’s beach handball team reacted to the punishment of players for choosing different clothes.

The players, who wrote a letter to the French Handball Federation and supported by their coach Valerie Nicolas, voiced their objections to the uniform dress requirement.

American artist Pink supported the Norwegian women’s handball team, which wears shorts instead of a bikini, and offered to pay a fine of 1500 euros to the team.

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