The Norwegian women’s beach handball team has been fined for refusing to play in bikini bottoms during a game in the sport’s Euro 2021 tournament.
The team wore thigh-length elastic shorts during their bronze medal match against Spain in Bulgaria on Sunday to protest against the regulation bikini-bottom design that the sport's Norwegian federation president called “embarrassing.”
The team was fined 1,500 euros total ($1,700) for “improper clothing,” according to a statement from the European Handball Association's Disciplinary Commission.
While male players are allowed to play in tank tops and shorts no longer than 4 inches above the knee, women are required to wear midriff-baring tops and bikini bottoms “with a close fit and cut on an upward angle toward the top of the leg” and a maximum side width of 4 inches, according to International Handball Federation regulations.
"It's not [appropriate clothing for] the activity when they are playing in the sand," Norwegian Handball Federation President Kåre Geir Lio told NBC News by phone from Oslo. The women's team trains and competes in "what they want, like the boys" at home in Norway, but is subject to the International Handball Federation's clothing rules when playing abroad, he said.
The team had petitioned to wear the shorts its players train in from the start of the tournament, Lio said, but was threatened by the EHA with a fine or disqualification. By Sunday's bronze medal game the women decided to make a statement.
"It was very spontaneous. We thought, 'Let's just do it now, and then see what happens,'" player Katinka Haltvik told Norwegian broadcaster NRK.
"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," Lio said.
The team received support at home and abroad on social media.
"This is completely ridiculous! How many attitude changes are needed in the old-fashioned international patriarchy of sports?" tweeted Norway's Minister of Culture in response to news that the team had been fined.
Norway has campaigned since 2006 for shorts to be officially considered acceptable in beach handball, and will submit a motion to change the rules in an extraordinary congress of the IHF in November, said Lio.
Haltvik hopes it will make the sport more inclusive. "It shouldn't be the case that people don't want to take part because of the outfit," she told NRK in April.
Efforts to regulate official female attire in other beach sports have proven controversial. The Qatar Volleyball Association's initial proposal to ban players from wearing bikinis during an international beach volleyball tournament hosted by the country this year was met with threats of boycott from some players.
The International Volleyball Federation updated its own uniform rules in 2012. In this month's Tokyo Olympics, female beach volleyball players can choose to play in shorts and T-shirts, as well as bikinis or one-piece bathing suits.
Discussions are underway with the Sri Lanka Insurance Company (SLIC) to offer an insurance scheme for athletes, Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa told Parliament yesterday (11).
Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury have finalised the date for their undisputed heavyweight championship clash and will meet in a specially-created stadium, says promoter Eddie Hearn.
James Anderson inspired England to a famous fifth day win over India in the first Test, paving the way for a 227-run victory with an astonishing spell of reverse swing in Chennai.
International Cricket Council (ICC) anti-corruption tribunal found him guilty of breaching its code, the sport's governing body said on Wednesday (28).
A technical advisory committee has been appointed to the Ministry of Youth and Sports for the development of cricket in the country.
Sri Lanka slumped after opening batsman Danushka Gunathilaka was given out for obstructing the field and lost by eight wickets to the West Indies on Wednesday in the first one-day international.
Gunathilaka made 55 and put on 105 in an opening stand with captain Dimuth Karunaratne, which seemed to put Sri Lanka on course to a commanding total after it lost the toss and had been sent in.
Karunaratne was out for 52, caught and bowled by West Indies captain Kieron Powell with his second delivery.
The match became ill-tempered when, in the 21st over, Gunathilaka was judged to have obstructed the field when he trod on the ball while Powell was attempting to affect a run out.
Powell bowled a short ball which Gunathilaka fended away. Pathum Nissanka set off for a single but Gunathilaka, after advancing down the pitch, sent him back and stepped back into his own crease. As he did so, he stepped on the ball and knocked it backwards.
Pollard immediately appealed and on-field umpire Joe Wilson gave a soft signal of out before television umpire Nigel Guguid ruled that Gunathilaka had deliberately attempted to foil the run out. There seemed to be little evidence the batsman had acted deliberately.
Sri Lanka's spinners bamboozled world champions West Indies to claim a 43-run win in the second Twenty20 International at Coolidge Cricket Ground on Friday. Having lost by four wickets in the opening game on Wednesday, in a game where West Indies skipper Kieron Pollard launched six sixes in an over, the tourists successfully defended 160 on Friday to level the three-match series.
West Indies were all out for 117 in the 19th over as Sri Lanka ended an eight-game losing streak in T20.
The final match is at the same venue on Sunday (07).
Leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga finished with 3-17, off-break bowler Akila Dananjaya, who was the victim of Pollard's midweek assault but also claimed a hat-trick, had 1-13.
Wrist spinner Lakshan Sandakan took 3-10, including Pollard who made just 13.
West Indies were 45-1 before five wickets fell for just 21 runs.
Chris Gayle, who was out for a first ball duck on Wednesday in his first appearance in two years, made a patchy 16 when he fell to a catch by Ashen Bandara off Hasaranga.
Opener Lendl Simmons (21) was next out, lbw failing to pick a Hasaranga googly.
Nicholas Pooran, Jason Holder and Dwayne Bravo all followed quickly for single figure scores.
Dananjaya had earlier dismissed opener Evin Lewis for six. His impressive figures of 1-13 were in stark contrast to his 3-62 on Wednesday.
Hasaranga, just 23, added Fabian Allan to his list of victims with the West Indies then struggling on 89-7 in the 16th over.
With more than 22 an over required, Sandakan then got the big prize of Pollard, caught in the deep for just 13 having surprisingly opted to bat at number seven.
Sandakan then halted Obed McCoy's late cameo of 23 from seven deliveries with the tail-ender proving to be his team's top scorer.
Earlier, veteran all-rounder Bravo slammed the brakes on Sri Lanka with two wickets and a run-out.
Sri Lanka got off to a flying start after winning the toss and deciding to bat.
Openers Danusha Gunathilaka and Pathum Nissanka put on a blistering 94 off the first 10 overs.
But then 37-year-old Bravo was called into action and he responded by running out Nissanka for 37.
Gunathilaka followed just four balls later in the 11th over, caught by Kevin Sinclair off Bravo at mid-off.
The Sri Lankan opener went for a top score of 56 which featured four boundaries and two sixes.
Bravo also claimed the third wicket to fall when Simmons caught the experienced Dinesh Chandimal for just three.
The runs then dried up for Sri Lanka.
Having hit eight fours and three sixes in the first 10 overs, they managed just three more fours and one six in the second half of the innings.
That included an eight-over stretch where the ball never crossed the boundary ropes. (AFP)
Karunaratne has been released due to injury while four others -- Kusal Mendis, Minod Bhanuka, Lahiru Kumara, and Nuwan Pradeep have been dropped looking at their performances.
"The released players will return to training at the High-Performance Center in Colombo. Whilst in the absence of Dimuth Karunaratne, Dinesh Chandimal will continue to captain the team in the 2nd Test match, as well," Sri Lanka Cricket said in an official statement.
Sri Lanka had lost the first Test against England by seven wickets and both sides will now lock horns in the second Test, beginning Friday. After stumbling to a seven-wicket loss against England in the first Test, Sri Lanka coach Mickey Arthur said the batting performance of his side in the first innings was very poor and it was a major reason that the hosts were on the back foot from the get-go.
In the first innings, Sri Lanka was dismissed for 135, and after this dismal batting show, the hosts conceded 421, and this handed the Joe Root-led England side a hefty lead.
"The first innings was very poor, it was an unacceptable batting performance. I'm not one to ever look for excuses, but it was like we were batting at the Wanderers and Centurion in terms of tempo. We hadn't changed our tempo to bat in the subcontinent, coming back and batting in Sri Lanka, where it's all about patience, trusting your technique, wearing the opposition down, and grinding away," ESPNCricinfo had quoted Arthur as saying.
In the second innings, Sri Lanka recovered to register 359 runs as Lahiru Thirimanne went on to register a century. But the hosts managed to gain a lead of 73 runs, and in the end, England had no problem in chasing down this below par total in the fourth innings.
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