Beach Volleyball Stars Team Up To Force Bikini Rule Change At Qatar Tournament
Two German beach volleyball stars have just teamed up to force a bikini rule change at a tournament in Qatar.
Two beach volleyball stars from Germany have just come out on top after they threatened to boycott an upcoming tournament in Qatar over a rule banning bikinis.
German Beach Volleyball Players Fight Bikini Ban
The officials running the Katara Beach Volleyball Cup, which is scheduled to take place in the Muslim nation of Qatar, had recently announced that players would be forced to ditch their traditional bikini wear and wear sand trousers instead.
German volleyball stars Karla Borger and Julia Sude, however, were not having any of it.
Temperatures in Qatar were expected to be 85-90 degrees during the tournament. And, that’s why they threatened to boycott the tournament if the rule wasn’t changed.
“We are there to do our job, but are being prevented from wearing our work clothes,” Borger lamented, according to TMZ. “This is really the only country and the only tournament where a government tells us how to do our job — we are criticising that.”
Players Call Out Qatar
The athletes questioned if Qatar should be holding this tournament at all, given its history of human rights abuses.
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“We are asking whether it’s necessary to hold a tournament there at all,” Borger added.
Germany’s women’s national team coach Helke Claasen had said that she would not travel to Qatar either if the rule remained unchanged.
“She told me she won’t go (to Qatar), because she doesn’t feel respected there as a woman,” said Niclas Hildebrand, the sporting director of the German volleyball federation.
Qatar Volleyball Association Backs Down
The Qatar volleyball association finally backed down on Monday, saying that it was “not making any demand on what athletes should wear at the event,” according to The New York Post.
Borger and Sude’s manager Constantin Adam disputed this, however, saying that this is “not true.”
Adam pointed out that the rules on the World Tour website still said that “it is expected that all participating women’s teams use a short sleeve t-shirt… and wear knee-long sports shorts.”
However, this was remedied on Tuesday, and the rules have now been officially changed.
The International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) has since released a statement to clarify the situation, explaining that the Qatari association had assured them there would be “no restrictions on female players wearing standard uniforms.”
“The FIVB believes strongly that women’s beach volleyball, as all sport, should be judged on performance and effort, and not on uniform,” FIVB added. “Therefore, during the competition in Doha, should players request to wear the standard uniform, they will be free to do so.”
This is only the second time a women’s beach volleyball event will take place on the Arabian Peninsula, and the first since October of 2008, when an event took place in Dubai.