Two German beach volleyball stars said they will boycott a tournament in Qatar because it is “the only country” where players are forbidden from wearing bikinis on the court.
Qatar, the host of the FIVB World Tour event, has strict rules about on-court clothing, which has led the world championship silver medalist Karla Borger and her doubles partner Julia Sude to publicly question the situation.
“We are there to do our job, but are being prevented from wearing our work clothes,” Borger told radio station Deutschlandfunk on Sunday, the Guardian reports. “This is really the only country and the only tournament where a government tells us how to do our job – we are criticizing that.”
On the radio show on Sunday, Borger questioned whether Qatar was a suitable host nation.
“We are asking whether it’s necessary to hold a tournament there at all,” she said.
After seven years of hosting a men’s competition, the event scheduled in March will be the first time Doha, Qatar hosts a women’s beach volleyball event.
The Guardian reports that female players have been asked to wear shirts and long pants 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.”
Borger and Sude do not plan to go along with the rules imposed by the Qatari authorities, the article states.
Borger said that they would normally be happy to “adapt to any country,” but that the extreme heat in Doha means that bikinis are necessary.
Sude said Qatar previously made exceptions for female track and field athletes competing at the World Athletics Championships in Doha in 2019.