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The International Beach Volleyball Federation has asked participants of a tournament in Qatar next March to wear t-shirts and long pants rather than the usual bikinis. The Qatari federation claims to have imposed nothing.

German beach volleyball players Karla Borger and Julia Sude announced on February 21, 2021 that they would boycott a tournament in Qatar, due to a bikini ban on the pitch. The Qatari organizers, however, say they have not imposed this measure, which is a recommendation of the International Beach Volleyball Federation (FIVB).

“We are there to do our job but we are prevented from wearing our work clothes,” said Karla Borger, vice-world champion, on German radio Deutschlandfunk. “This is truly the only country and the only tournament where a government tells us how to do our job. We are critical of that, ”added the sportswoman. Karla Borger particularly wondered about the relevance of designating Qatar as the host country of such a competition. “We are wondering if there is really a need for a tournament to be held there,” she said.

Qatar denies requests for athletes’ outfits

Qatar will host a FIVB women’s competition for the first time in March. The Gulf country held a men’s tournament for seven years, as well as the 2019 World Beach Games, in which female players were allowed to wear a bikini. For next March’s competition, players have been asked by the FIVB to wear long t-shirts and pants, rather than the usual high-cut swimsuits. A decision motivated by “respect for the culture and traditions of the host country”.

The Qatari Volleyball Federation, organizer of the tournament, assured in a statement sent to AFP that it had made no such request: “We want to make it clear that we have not specified in any way what athletes were expected to wear at this event. We fully respect the code of conduct decreed by the International Federation and have shown in the past at events organized in Qatar that athletes are free to wear the same outfits they wear in other countries ”, he added. she explains.

In the magazine Spiegel, Karla Borger underlined the fact that while, in normal times, she was happy to “adapt to a country”, the high temperatures in Qatar make it necessary to wear a bikini. Her teammate Julia Sude pointed out that Qatar had made exceptions for female athletes at the World Athletics Championships in Doha in 2019.

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