World #2 – German beach volleyball stars boycott Qatar over bikini ban

German beach volleyball stars, Karla Borger and Julia Sude.

(Agence France-Presse at YahooSports) — Germany’s beach volleyball stars Karla Borger and Julia Sude have said they will boycott a tournament in Qatar 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 evening.

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

Qatar is hosting the upcoming FIVB* World Tour event but strict rules about on-court clothing have led the world championships silver medallist Borger and her doubles partner Sude to shun the event. (*FIVB is the international professional volleyball association)

The event in March is the first time that Doha has hosted a women’s beach volleyball event, after seven years hosting a men’s competition.

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.”

Borger and Sude told Spiegel magazine during the weekend they “would not go along with” the rules imposed by the Qatari authorities.

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.

Her team mate Sude pointed out that Qatar had previously made exceptions for female track and field athletes competing at the World Athletics Championships in Doha in 2019.

The country also allowed female beach volleyball players to compete in bikinis at the ANOC World Beach Games in 2019.

Though not as hot as the scorching summer months, temperatures in the Gulf state can reach as high as 86 degrees Fahrenheit in March.

Speaking to Deutschlandfunk 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.

Qatar has hosted an increasing number of major sporting events in recent decades, though its human rights record, lack of sporting history and brutally hot weather make it a controversial venue.

Heat and humidity were major issues during the road races at last year’s World Athletics Championships, while discriminatory labor practices and alleged human rights abuses have been the subject of intense scrutiny ahead of next year’s football World Cup.


1. List the who, what, where and when of the news item.

2. What has Qatar’s government required women’s beach volleyball players to wear during the FIVB Games in Qatar instead of their official uniforms?

3. What did Borger and Sude point out about Qatar’s uniform requirements for games in 2019?

4. For what reasons is Qatar viewed as a controversial choice for hosting international sports competitions?

5. Should international sporting events be awarded to countries that are accused of violating human rights? (i.e. alleged violations against religious minorities, women, or different nationalities?) – Will hosting international sporting events help those who are subject to discriminatory labor practices and alleged human rights abuses in Qatar? Explain your answer.

6. When Qatar applied to host the beach volleyball games, the government knew the women wore bikinis as their uniforms. Why do you think Qatar officials decided, just prior to the games, to dictate to the female players from free countries around the world what they are permitted to wear? Explain your answer.

7. Why do you think FIVB allowed Qatar to dictate what the women are permitted to wear?

8. What do you think of the stand German beach volleyball stars Karla Borger and Julia Sude are taking against Qatar’s ban on official bikini uniforms? Explain your answer.

9. Should international sporting events comply with the demands of every host country’s cultural/religious norms? Or, should host countries comply with the rules and regulations established by various international sporting organizations? Explain your answer.

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