Six Finnish-Swedish handball players have written an open letter to the International and European Handball Federation criticizing and questioning the heavily criticized beach handball dress code.
The debate about the dress code in beach handball has been heated in recent weeks. According to the rules of the International Handball Federation (IHF), female players must wear a sports bra with large necklines around the arms and underwear that can reach a maximum height of 10 centimeters at the side, while male players are entitled to wear shorts and underwear. The Norwegian women’s team was fined 150 euros per player when they played in shorts in the bronze match at the European Championships because they did not adhere to the dress code.
Various dress codes are both sexist and discriminatory, and got six former Finnish-Swedish handball players with pasts in BK-46 and the national team to answer. Sunny Kaunas, Fanny Westerholm, Fredrika Lagerboom, Carolina Wendelin, Ellen Sondel and Ida Erstedt wrote an open letter to IHF President Hassan Mustafa and Helsinki Federation President Michael Federer in which they were highly critical of the rules and the unions’ view of women.
Sani Kunas comments on the decision to write the letter as follows:
Without mentioning a reasonable sporting reason why bikini wearing is a compulsion for women on the handball court, these rules can never be accepted in 2021. It’s absolutely ridiculous. It’s not about banning the bikini, but just giving women the opportunity to exercise in a different outfit that doesn’t feel offensive or sexist. But the EHF is vehemently opposed to it.
In the letter to the International Federation of Engineering and Mathematics, the six players wrote as follows:
“We consider this ridiculous and insulting and demand that these rules be changed with immediate effect in a way that allows women to practice their sport without feeling sexual and distracted,” they wrote in the letter.
They question the rules and are highly critical of the fact that there are different dress codes for male and female players.
“The IHF/EHF appears to believe that the men’s game uniform should improve the performance of the players while the female gamer’s suit should contribute to making the sport attractive.”
“Female players should have the right to practice their sport without feeling sexually discriminated against or disrupted.”
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