German Beach Volleyball Stars Boycott Qatar Event Over Bikini Ban

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Two German beach volleyball stars Karla Borger and Julia Sude are planing to boycott the upcoming FIVB World Tour event in Qatar over the country’s strict clothing rules that forbid athletes from wearing bikinis while competing. Qatar is ‘the only country’ where players are forbidden from wearing bikinis on court.

”We play at 30 to 40 degrees in the midday heat and of course we’re used to playing in a bikini. This is really the only country and the only tournament where a government tells us how to do our job – we are criticising that. We are asking whether it’s necessary to hold a tournament there at all. It is definitely something that has to be questioned,” Borger told radio station Deutschlandfunk on Sunday.

Notably, Qatar which is hosting the upcoming FIVB World Tour event has strict rules about on-court clothing. As per rules, female players have been asked to wear shirts and long trousers rather than the usual bikinis. The international governing body for the sport, the FIVB said the request had been made ‘out of respect for the culture and traditions of the host country’.

Reacting to it, Borger said that they would normally be happy to “adapt to any country”, but that the extreme heat in Doha meant that bikinis were necessary. Temperatures in the Gulf state can reach as high as 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit) in March. Heat and humidity were major issues during the road races at last year’s World Athletics Championships in Doha.

Borger also questioned in a radio interview whether it is necessary to hold a tournament in Qatar at all. Qatar is largely a conservative Islamic country in which women are expected to dress conservatively.

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