The Norwegian women’s handball team had to pay a jaw-dropping fine after deciding to wear shorts instead of bikini bottoms at the European Beach Handball Championships. According to The European Handball Federation, the team played in “improper clothing” when they played against Spain in Varna, Bulgaria.
The organization’s disciplinary committee said the women’s team was dressed “not according to the athlete uniform regulations defined in the IHF (International Handball Federation) beach handball rules of the game.”
As a result, each team member had to pay 150 euros for wearing shorts, totaling 1,500 euros, equating to approximately $1,765.28. However, they were supported by Norway’s Handball Federation, which agreed to pay the fine for each athlete.
“We are very proud of these girls who are at the European Championships in beach handball. They raised their voice and told us that enough is enough,” the organization said in an Instagram post.
“We are the Norwegian Handball Federation and we stand behind you and support you. We will continue to fight to change the international regulations for attire so that players can play in the clothing they are comfortable with,” the federation added.
In another Instagram post shared by the team, the players thanked their fans worldwide supporters who commended them for standing by their decision about their outfits.
Norwegian Handball Athletes Take a Stand Over Outfit Rule
“We are very proud about making a statement in the bronze final by playing in shorts instead of required bikini bottoms! We are overwhelmed by the attention and support from all over the world! Thank you so much to all the people who support us and help spread the message! We really hope this will result in a change of this nonsense rule!” the team said in a release.
Interestingly, the team decided on the outfit change at the last minute. “It was very spontaneous. We thought, ‘Let’s just do it now, and then see what happens,'” team member Katinka Haltvik said.
“I got a message 10 minutes before the match that they would wear the clothing that they were satisfied with. And they got our full support,” said Norway’s Handball Federation President Kåre Geir Lio to NBC News.
For sprinter and long jumper Olivia Breen, she faced the opposite situation. She was told her sprint shorts “were too short and inappropriate” at the English Championships.
While she said she is “always very grateful for the incredible volunteers who officiate at athletic events,” as they “do an amazing job and make it possible for us to compete,” Breen said she felt “disappointed because just as I finished my long jump competition at the English Championships, one of the female officials felt it necessary to inform me that my sprint briefs were too short and inappropriate.”