Norway’s beach handball team has been fined €1,500 (CAD$2,228) for being “improperly dressed”.
Their transgression? Wearing spandex shorts instead of bikini bottoms during the team’s bronze medal match at the European Beach Handball Championships.
The European Handball Federation (EHF) said in a statement that its disciplinary commission had dealt with “a case of improper clothing” in the bronze medal match against Spain.
It added that the shorts were “not according to the Athlete Uniform Regulations defined in the IHF Beach Handball Rules of the Game.”
According to the International Handball Federation regulations, female athletes must wear bikini bottoms with a close fit and cut on an upward angle toward the top of the leg. The side width must be of a maximum of 10 centimeters, or about 4 inches.
However, their male counterparts are allowed to wear shorts, as long as they clear 10 centimeters above the kneecap.
The ruling has since made international news, with many calling it out as an example of sexism.
Meanwhile, Norwegian sports circles and commentators have expressed their outrage at the punishment.
"In 2021, it shouldn't even be an issue," Eirik Sørdahl, president of the Norwegian Volleyball Federation, told the national agency NTB.
“We are very proud of these girls who … raised their voice and told us that ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!” the Norwegian Handball Federation said in a Facebook post on Tuesday.
“We at the Norwegian Handball Federation stand behind you and support you. Together we will continue to fight to change the international regulations for attire, so that players can play in the clothes they are comfortable with!”