U.S. pop singer Pink has offered to pay a fine given to the Norwegian female beach handball team for wearing shorts instead of the required bikini bottoms.
Pink said she was “very proud” of the team for protesting against the rule that prevented them from wearing shorts like their male counterparts.
At the European Beach Handball Championships in Bulgaria last week, Norway’s female team was fined 1,500 euros ($1,770) for what the European federation called improper clothing and “a breach of clothing regulations.” The rules stipulate that women must wear bikini bottoms while men wear shorts.
The Norwegian Handball Federation didn’t contest the decision, seen by the Norwegian team and several others as unfair, and announced earlier that it was ready to pay the fine.
The European Handball Federation EHF on Monday acknowledged the commotion that the incident had triggered in media outlets and social media, and said it would donate the amount paid by the Norwegian team “to a major international sports foundation which supports equality for women and girls in sports”.
“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 which is why the EHF has donated the fine for a good cause promoting equality in sports, ” EHF President Michael Wiederer said in a statement.
He added that handball is already ahead of other sports in some respects, such as the parity given to the men’s and women’s competitions. He noted that this had happened far sooner in beach handball than in soccer.
The Norwegian women posted a photograph of themselves on Instagram wearing shorts and told their followers: “Thank you so much for all the support. We really appreciate all the love we have received.”
—Jari Tanner, The Associated Press