German professional beach volleyball stars Karla Borger and Julia Sude said on Sunday that they will not go to Qatar for a tournament due to a problem related to their playing dress.
Borger represented Germany at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, but lost, along with teammate Britta Buthe, in the round of 16. The couple won silver at the Beach Volleyball World Championship in 2013. Sude had primarily associated with Chantal Labouruer during her career. . Sude and Borger have been teammates since 2019.
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“We are there to do our work, but we are prevented from wearing our work clothes,” Borger told a German radio station. “This is really the only country and the only tournament in which a government tells us how to do our job, we are criticizing it.”
Borger added that given the extreme temperatures in the Middle East, “We are asking if a tournament is necessary there.”
The women’s section of the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) World Tour will head to Doha, Qatar, for the first time next month. Players have been asked to wear long shirts and pants to the event, according to The Guardian.
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The FIVB says the request was “out of respect for the culture and traditions of the host country,” according to The Guardian.
Borger and Sude told Germany’s Der Spiegel that they would “not accept” the Qatari rules. The country’s climate would make bikinis necessary to play in the tournament.
Sude also noted that no changes were made when the country hosted the World Championships in Athletics in 2019.
The Qatar Volleyball Association said athletes could wear their national uniforms, according to Yahoo.
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“We would like to make it clear that we are not demanding anything about what athletes must wear to the event,” the organization said.
The country allowed female volleyball players to compete in bikini as recently as the 2019 ANOC World Beach Games and the 2006 Asian Games, according to The Daily Mail.