A spokeswoman for the International Handball Federation, Jessica Rockstroh, told The New York Times earlier this week that she did not know the reason for the uniform rules, adding, “We’re looking into it internally.” She also said her organization’s focus at the moment was on the Olympics, not uniforms, and that Norway was the only country that had officially complained. She added, “Globally we know that other countries like to play in bikinis, for example, especially in South America.”
The Norwegian team’s protest and fine came days before the start of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Beach handball is not one of its sports, but is rather included in the Summer Youth Olympic Games, the next of which is set to be held in Senegal in 2026.
However, a similar sport, beach volleyball, is featured at the Olympics. There, female beach volleyball players can choose to play in shorts and T-shirts, as well as bikinis or one-piece bathing suits, according to NBC News.
(E! and NBC News are both part of the NBCUniversal family and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics are currently airing on Peacock.)