International Handball Federation changes ‘sexist’ uniform regulations after criticism

The European Handball Federation had called the shorts “inappropriate clothing” in the statement announcing the fine of 1,500 euros (about $ 1,735) – 150 euros ($ 173) per player.

At the time, the team’s coach, Eskil Berg Andreassen, told CNN that uniform regulations could deter women from playing the sport, and Singer-songwriter Pink criticized the regulations as “sexist” and offered to pay the fine on behalf of the Norwegian team.

The new uniform regulations, which are dated October 3, state that “female athletes must wear tight shorts with a snug fit” and also include tank tops for women, rather than the cropped tops stipulated in the previous regulations. .

Male players must also wear tank tops and shorts, although there is no stipulation for shorts to be tight-fitting as stated in the women’s regulations.

Team Norway lined up during the 2018 Women's Beach Handball World Cup final against Greece in July 2018.

Since the fine was imposed on the Norwegian team, the handball authorities have come under considerable pressure to amend their regulations.

A petition calling for the fine to be lifted and for women to be allowed to compete in shorts garnered more than 60,000 signatures, while the sports ministers of Norway, Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Sweden also asked the IHF to check his uniform. politics.

“With those bikinis, we were all the time checking to see if I was in the right place. We were focusing on things other than sport, and that’s not something we want,” Julie Aspelund Berg, defender of the Norwegian beach handball team, previously told CNN.

“We just want to be treated at the same level as the guys.”

The IHF did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment.

in a statement Released in July, the IHF said it “acknowledges the ongoing global discussion” on uniform regulations, adding: “The goal of the IHF is to grow handball and all its disciplines, including beach handball, by making it more diverse and inclusive. .

“Over the years, the IHF has launched many projects and initiatives to help achieve this goal, including by introducing more international competitions and global education programs for beach handball. This goal is of particular importance since that the IHF aims to include beach handball in the Olympic program … [T]The IHF would like to emphasize again that handball athletes are its main asset and within the organization, the IHF will always listen to what they have to say. “

CNN’s Amy Woodyatt and Toyin Owoseje contributed reporting.

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