Norway’s beach handball team could be fined after its players refused to wear bikini bottoms for a match.
The team competed in a bronze medal match at the European Beach Handball Championship versus Spain at the weekend.
Instead of donning the International Handball Federation mandated bikini bottoms the team wore shorts at the match in Varna, Bulgaria, on Sunday.
Player Katinka Haltvik said it was a ‘very spontaneous’ decision, reports NRK and added: “We thought that ‘now we just do it, then we will see what happens.'”
Choosing the less revealing attire risks a fine of 50 Euro per player, but the Norwegian Handball Federation president has said he would pay the fine if it came to it.
Kare Geir Lio told AFP: “Of course we would pay any fine. We are all in the same boat.
“The most important thing is to have equipment that athletes are comfortable with,’ adding that ‘it should be a free choice within a standardised framework.’
French national team manager, Valérie Nicolas, also backed Norway’s stand.
She told Verdens Gang: “It’s unfair. Money and fines should not be part of the discussion. To create change, nations must stand together, and we are doing it now.
“If nothing changes before the next championship, I will put pressure for us to play exactly as we want, and take the consequences that follow.”
Ahead of the competition, Norway had requested to the European Handball Federation to play in shorts instead of bikini bottoms, but their plea was denied.
A motion to amend the current rules will reportedly be discussed in the coming months.
European Handball Federation spokesman Andrew Barringer said: “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.”