DOHA, Qatar (AP) — There will be “no restrictions” against female beach volleyball players wearing bikinis during a tournament in Qatar, the sport’s governing body said Tuesday after players threatened to boycott.
German players Karla Borger and Julia Sude had told radio station Deutschlandfunk that they would boycott the Doha event after being advised they can’t wear bikinis.
The Middle Eastern country is hosting the Beach Volleyball World Tour from March 8-12.
In a statement on Tuesday, the FIVB said it has consulted with the Qatar Volleyball Association.
“Following further discussions, the QVA has confirmed that there are no restrictions on female players wearing standard uniforms during the event in Doha, should they so wish,” it said in a statement.
Other players had also raised concerns about restrictions. The German players noted that bikinis were necessary because of the heat in Doha.
The FIVB, which governs all forms of volleyball, said it had consulted with players in January before the decision was made to stage the women’s tournament.
“The FIVB believes strongly that women’s beach volleyball, as all sport, should be judged on performance and effort, and not on uniform,” it said. “Therefore, during the competition in Doha, should players request to wear the standard uniform, they will be free to do so. The FIVB and QVA are united in their commitment to host a welcoming, safe and inclusive event that allows athletes to compete at their very best.”
Earlier, the Qatar Volleyball Association said “we are not making any demand on what athletes should wear at the event.”
By AP News
IMAGE: Doaa Elghobashy of Egypt and Kira Walkenhorst of Germany compete. Egypt’s Doaa Elghobashy, 19, competing in her first Olympics, achieved widespread internet fame for wearing a hijab against bikini-clad opponents. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson