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Wednesday, April 14, 2021

‘No restrictions’ on bikinis for beach volleyball in Qatar

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German players said they would boycott the world tour due to an alleged“bikini ban”

Beach volleyball players will be allowed to wear bikinis during the FIVB World Tour being held in Qatar from March 3 to March 12, the international volleyball governing body announced on Tuesday. 

The announcement came after German beach volleyball duo Karla Borger and Julia Sude told German media that they would skip the FIVB World Tour competition in Doha over an alleged bikini ban.

On Monday, Qatar Volleyball Association said that it was “not making any demands on what athletes should wear at the event.”

However, the regulations on the world tour’s official website said “it is expected that all participating women’s teams use a short sleeve t-shirt… and wear knee-long sports shorts.” The regulations were updated on Wednesday to remove those regulations. 

The FIVB clarified the situation, confirming to AFP that the Qatari association had assured the body that there would be “no restrictions on female players wearing standard uniforms”.

“The FIVB believes strongly that women’s beach volleyball, as all sports, should be judged on performance and effort, and not on uniform,” it added. “Therefore, during the competition in Doha, should players request to wear the standard uniform, they will be free to do so.”

In a decision supported by the German volleyball federation, Borger and Sude said on Saturday that they “would not go along with” the rules imposed for competition in Qatar.

“It’s not about whether we have more or less clothing on, it’s about the fact that we are not being allowed to wear our work clothes to do our job,” Sude told Der Spiegel magazine.

Her team-mate Sude pointed out that Qatar had previously made exceptions for female track and field athletes competing at the World Athletics Championships in Doha in 2019.

The country also allowed female beach volleyball players to compete in bikinis at the ANOC World Beach Games in 2019.

Germany’s women’s national team coach Helke Claasen said she would not travel to Qatar either.

Despite this, the two players have participated in numerous games around the world while wearing full-length clothing, raising questions as to why they targeted Qatar in particular.


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