In a letter together with the other Nordic sports ministers, Abid Raja (V) makes a clear appeal to the International Handball Federation (IHF).
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It was during the European Beach Handball Championships this summer in Bulgaria that there was a commotion. The Norwegian national team wanted to play in shorts, but were threatened with fines if from no Poses in bikini bottoms.
“Women should wear bikinis. The top should be a tight-fitting sports bra with deep necklines on the arms. The panties should be no more than four inches on the side.”Read the rules of the International Handball Federation.
Culture and Gender Equality Minister Abid Raja says that he subsequently took the lead towards culture ministers in Sweden, Denmark, Iceland and Finland, which has now ended in a letter to the International Handball Federation.
– This is a joint consultation, where we ask for a change in the clothing regulations. This is because sport must be inclusive. I was completely shocked when the national team was fined for playing in shorts, Raja tells VG.
– It was completely wild, I thought “is it possible?”, How old-fashioned and old-fashioned can it be? I thought this must change, says Raja.
In the letter, the ministers write that this summer’s European Championships event shows the double standards faced by many athletes when it comes to dressing different genders in different sports, and calls on the international federation to review regulations for that athletes can dress. at best, both in terms of performance and comfort.
– Regulations are out of date. He is not only behind the goals, but he is also discriminatory. We not only want athletes to be welcomed into the sport, but also to feel comfortable when they play their sport, says Raja, adding that he hopes the letter will provide lasting change.
– It was a shock, not only for me, but also for the rest of Norway and the world that it was so old-fashioned, behind bars and discriminatory. It has aroused international outrage. Now is the time to change, says the minister.
– My colleagues were as shocked as I was by the regulation, and I am very happy that the five of us agree and have written a letter together. I am proud of the values we have in Norway and the Nordic countries, and I also want the International Handball Federation to follow suit, says Raja.
The captain of the national team with a statement of support: – Completely unnecessary
After playing the first matches in briefs, the Norwegian national team finished this summer’s European Championship by contesting the bronze final in shorts. They then received a fine of 150 euros per player. In total, the team was fined 1,500 euros, equivalent to 15,260 Norwegian crowns.
American pop star P! nk was among those who jumped into the debate and expressed their discontent.
– I am very proud of the Norwegian team protesting against the sexist rules. The European Handball Federation should be fined for sexism, he wrote enthusiastically, offering to pay the fines to the Norwegian girls.
The European Handball Federation gave away the money the fine to charity for working with gender equality in sport, and at the same time they were clear that they supported a rule change, but that it had to come from the International Handball Federation.