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By Stewart Perrie
Pink has offered to pay the fine given to the Norwegian handball team for their defiance of the sport's bikini bottom rule.
The team flouted clothing regulations for their European Beach Handball Championships bronze medal match against Spain in Bulgaria last weekend (18 July), which they ultimately lost.
The European Handball Federation (EHF) subsequently handed the team a €1,500 (£1,300) fine for 'improper clothing'.
Uniform regulations state that 'women should wear a bikini where the top should be a tight-fitting sports bra with deep openings at the arms', and that 'the bottom must not be more than ten centimetres on the sides'.
Many players on the team felt bikini bottoms should not be mandatory, arguing they are degrading and impractical.
Critics also mentioned how men's teams are allowed to wear shorts during competition and that the governing body is enforcing a gendered double standard.
Pink was one of many people around the world who was shocked and surprised that such a rule exists.
The 'So What?' singer wrote on Twitter that these types of 'sexist' rules need to be challenged.
"I'm VERY proud of the Norwegian female beach handball team FOR PROTESTING THE VERY SEXIST RULES ABOUT THEIR 'uniform'," she said.
"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."
I'm VERY proud of the Norwegian female beach handball team FOR PROTESTING THE VERY SEXIST RULES ABOUT THEIR "uniform". 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.- P!nk (@Pink) July 25, 2021
Thankfully, Norway's Handball Federation (NHF) has backed the players on their decision and has already forked out the money to pay the fine.
They said: "We are very proud of these girls who are at the European Championships in beach handball. They raised their voice and told us that enough is enough.
"We are the Norwegian Handball Federation and we stand behind you and support you.
"We will continue to fight to change the international regulations for attire, so that players can play in the clothing they are comfortable with."
Norway had asked for permission to wear shorts before the championships, but the EHF warned this would be a fineable breach of regulations.
A motion to amend the current rules will be discussed in the coming months.
Kare Geir Lio, the head of the NHF, previously told AFP: "It should be a free choice within a standardised framework.
"The most important thing is to have equipment that athletes are comfortable with."
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