European Handball Federation backtracks on uniform fine following Pink tweet

The Norwegian women's beach handball team made headlines after being punished for wearing shorts instead of bikini briefs to a recent tournament 
European Handball Federation backtracks on uniform fine following Pink tweet

'The European handball federation should be fined for sexism,' Pink tweeted on Sunday. Picture: Mauricio Santana/Getty Images

Pink is raising a glass to the Norwegian women’s beach handball team, after the ladies chose to wear shorts instead of bikini bottoms to the European Beach Handball Championships last week.

The team was fined €1500 by the European Handball Federation for the move, which was cited as “improper” even though the shorts were similar to those worn by their male counterparts.

Soon after the news broke, Pink took to Twitter to voice her support for the women, saying she was “very proud” of the team for “protesting sexist rules”.

The singer even promised to pay the fine on behalf of the team.

"I'm very proud of the Norwegian female beach handball team for protesting sexist rules about their 'uniform',” Pink wrote to her 31.6m followers.

"The European handball federation should be fined for sexism. Good on ya, ladies. I'll be happy to pay your fines for you. Keep it up."

The team reposted the tweet on its Instagram account saying: “Wow! Thank you so much for the support.” 

According to the International Handball Federation regulations: “The beach handball female player’s uniform consists of tops and bikini bottoms...the women’s tops (a midriff design) must be close fitting...with deep cutaway armholes on the back.” 

“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 centimetres.” 

Whereas the rules state that male players are to wear shorts, 10cm above the knee, that are not “too baggy”.

The shorts the women wore were deemed 'improper'. Picture: Norway Beach Handball Women via Instagram
The shorts the women wore were deemed 'improper'. Picture: Norway Beach Handball Women via Instagram

All that could soon change, however, with the European Handball Federation stepping up yesterday to announce it would donate the fine to the Norweigan Handball Federation.

"The EHF acknowledges the position of the players involved and further steps towards change, in close coordination with the International Handball Federation, have been and are in motion," president Michael Wiederer said in a statement. 

"We are very much aware of the attention the topic has received over the past days, and while changes cannot happen overnight, we are fully committed that something good comes out of this situation right now."

They did not state that further fines wouldn't be issued in the future.

The Norweigan women’s team has been petitioning the rules since the start of the European tournament, with coach Eskil Berg Andreassen saying they believe the regulations could discourage new players from joining the sport, which is being considered for introduction into the 2024 Olympics.

"It feels so good to know that we have EHF's support, and we believe that a change is in motion," the team wrote via Instagram yesterday. "Babysteps."

Germany's female gymnasts have also made headlines for highlighted their discomfort with revealing uniforms. (Picture: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP)
Germany's female gymnasts have also made headlines for highlighted their discomfort with revealing uniforms. (Picture: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP)

Pink’s tweet, which has been liked over 173k times since Sunday, has especially gained traction since the German women’s gymnastics team stepped onto the Olympic stage in unitards rather than the usual high-cut leotards Sunday night.

Meanwhile, British Paralympian Olivia Breen was told just last week that her running uniform was “too short and inappropriate” by a female official at the English Championships.

Olivia Breen was 'left speechless' after being told her uniform was 'inappropioate' last week. Pictyre: S Bardens/Getty Images
Olivia Breen was 'left speechless' after being told her uniform was 'inappropioate' last week. Pictyre: S Bardens/Getty Images

“I was left speechless. I have been wearing the same style sprint briefs for many years and they are specifically designed for competing in. It made me question whether a male competitor would be similarly criticised,” Breen wrote on her Twitter account shortly after.

“I recognise that there needs to be regulations and guidelines in relation to competition kit but women should not be made to feel self conscious about what they are wearing when they are competing.”

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