When shorts are too long: Norway fined

The European Handball Federation (EHF) has fined Norway's women beach handball players for wearing shorts instead of the prescribed close fitting bikini bottoms. Each player was fined 150 euros after the European Championship match for third place. At the behest of the Norwegian federation, the EHF now plans to have the rules changed at the International Federation level. But the outraged reactions continue unabated.

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Keskisuomalainen (FI) /

Repugnant sexism

Keskisuomalainen is outraged:

“The shorts worn by the Norwegian team didn't comply with the federation's rules, according to which women must wear bikini bottoms in beach handball competitions. The men wear shorts and jerseys. The bikini requirement is a repugnant blight in the handball rules. It's unbelievable that such a rule was once introduced - and is still valid. This sport is deliberately sexualising itself.”

Der Standard (AT) /

Absurd, outdated rules

This anachronism should be eliminated, Der Standard demands:

“This is 2021. Yet there are still sports federations that prescribe the skimpiest possible clothing for female athletes. ... The Summer Olympics begin on Friday in Tokyo, and will give Thomas Bach the opportunity to preen. The German president of the International Olympic Committee thinks he can take advantage of the situation by adding the term 'together' to the Olympic motto 'faster, higher, stronger'. It would be more useful if the IOC advocated that major sports institutions like the International Handball Federation abolish absurd, outdated, sexist rules as soon as possible.”

The Independent (GB) /

Always pandering to the male gaze

The Independent writes:

“The glaring hypocrisy and double standards brought to light by this incident are impossible to ignore, but it's important to recognize where they are rooted: They exist due to the fact that it's primarily men who are the policymakers behind these sporting institutions. The situation is similar in the fashion industry, which has traditionally been dominated by male creative directors, designers and photographers, who create and promote clothing pandering to 'the male gaze' - that is, what men want to see on the runways, on the streets, in their bedrooms and, evidently, on the beachside handball court.”