There will now be "no restrictions" regarding bikinis during a beach volleyball tournament in Qatar after stars threatened to boycott the event over the uniform policy. The sports governing body made the announcement regarding the Beach Volleyball World Tour, which is being held from March 8-12, after German beach volleyball stars Karla Borger and Julia Sude said they would not be participating due to the restrictions.
On Tuesday, the FIVB, which governs all forms of volleyball said released a statement after discussions with the Qatar Volleyball Association.
The statement read:
"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."
They released a statement discussing what was behind the decision
"The FIVB believes strongly that women's beach volleyball, as all sport, should be judged on performance and effort, and not on uniform," the statement 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."
While announcing they would be protesting the tournament, Borger and Sude explained why they felt so strongly about being able to choose their uniform.
"It is not about wearing little, it's about not being able to do our job in our work clothes," Sude said to Sports and Business Mag. "We don't want to go along with that."
Borger spoke to radio station Deutschlandfunk, telling them, "This is really the only country and the only tournament where a government tells us how to do our job — we are criticizing that."
They also said due to the heat, they needed to wear bikinis in order to stay cool while playing.
According to the FIVB, before the protests occurred the female players were advised to wear shirts and long pants "out of respect for the culture and traditions of the host country."
The Qatar volleyball association said it was "committed to ensuring that all athletes are made to feel welcome and comfortable at next month's event" and the organization said it "would like to make clear that we are not making any demand on what athletes should wear at the event" following the backlash over restrictions.