Beach volleyball players protest against body-covering attire | Sunday Observer

Beach volleyball players protest against body-covering attire

28 February, 2021
Karla Borger competing for Germany in the 2016 Olympics in Rio
Karla Borger competing for Germany in the 2016 Olympics in Rio

Germany's beach volleyball stars Karla Borger and Julia Sude have said they will boycott a tournament in Qatar next month because it was "the only country" where players were forbidden from wearing bikinis on court.

"We are there to do our job, but are being prevented from wearing our work clothes," Borger told radio station Deutschlandfunk on Sunday.

"This is really the only country and the only tournament where a government tells us how to do our job -- we are criticising that."

The Qatar volleyball association reacted to the news by explaining they were "committed to ensuring that all athletes are made to feel welcome and comfortable at next month's event."

They said all athletes were free to compete in their international uniforms.

"We would like to make clear that we are not making any demand on what athletes should wear at the event," a statement insisted.

Qatar is hosting the upcoming FIVB World Tour event but strict rules about on-court clothing have led to world championships silver medallist Borger and her doubles partner Sude shunning the event.

The tournament in March is the first time that Doha has hosted a women's World Tour event, though the city has been a regular fixture on the men's tour for seven years.

Yet female players have been asked to wear shirts and long trousers rather than the usual bikinis, a rule which the world beach volleyball federation FIVB claims is "out of respect for the culture and traditions of the host country".(AFP)

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