Norwegian Handball Team Respond To Pink's Offer To Pay 'Bikini Rule' Fine
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The Norwegian beach handball team has responded to Pink’s offer to pay the fine they incurred for refusing to wear bikini bottoms for matches.
In what has been a bit of a whirlwind, the team has gone from relative unknowns, to front page news, to gaining the support of international popstars all in the space of a week.
In case you missed it, the team were issued with a £1,300 fine by the International Handball Federation after taking the decision to wear shorts in their bronze medal match at the European Beach Handball Championship against Spain, rather than the bikini bottoms specified in the rules.
The team argued that the regulation is both degrading and impractical, highlighting that men's teams are allowed to wear shorts during competition.
Like many who were shocked that such a rule exists, Pink took to Twitter to show her support for the team, saying it was important to stand up to these types of sexist rules.
The pop singer wrote: “I'm VERY proud of the Norwegian female beach handball team FOR PROTESTING THE VERY SEXIST RULES ABOUT THEIR ‘uniform’.
Speaking to Radio 1 Newsbeat, the team’s 24-year-old goalkeeper, Tonje Lerstad, said the team were completely ‘star-struck’ when the singer tweeted her support and offered to pay the fine.
"It's really crazy,” she said. “We were shocked but it's such an important message and we appreciate it.”
She says things have gotten ‘very crazy’ since the players made the stand against the rule, but that the team weren’t surprised to be fined
She wasn't surprised they were fined but, described the punishment as ‘incredible’.
“It's really stupid, but we've just got to fight on, it's so shocking that we have to pay for not playing in our panties.”
Tonje revealed that the team began to celebrate after Pink’s tweet to her 30 million followers. “We sent it in our group chat and everybody was like: 'Wow, this is sick.' It was so weird," says Tonje.
As it happens, there will be no need to accept Pink’s offer, as Norway’s Handball Federation (NHF) has already backed the players and paid the fine.
"She doesn't have to pay but she can give us some tickets and we can meet up in a concert in our shorts," Tonje jokes. "There have been so many people asking to pay the money so maybe we should just make a big bank account…"
The team is planning to try make the most of the attention while it lasts, Tonje adds: "We've had so much response from the other teams, so I can't believe anything else other than they have to change [the rules] next year.”
Her next game will be at the World Championships. When asked if she plans to continue wearing shorts, she says: "Yes, absolutely."
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