German beach volleyball stars Karla Borger and Julia Sude will boycott a tournament in Qatar next month because they cannot wear bikinis on the court.
Qatar is hosting the next event of the FIVB World Tour, but strict rules regarding clothing on the pitch have left silver medalists of world champion Borger and his doubles partner Sude in the arms.
“We’re here to do our job, but we can’t wear our work clothes,” Borger told Deutschlandfunk radio on Sunday.
“This is truly the only country and the only tournament where a government tells us how to do our job – we criticize that.”
The Qatar Volleyball Association responded to the news saying it was “determined to make all athletes feel welcome and at ease at next month’s event.”
“We want to make it clear that we are not making any requests on what athletes should wear during the event,” a statement insisted.
In a move backed by the German volleyball federation DVV, Borger and Sude told Spiegel magazine over the weekend that they would “not accept” the rules imposed by Qatari authorities and plan to boycott the entire government. event.
Borger said they would normally be happy to “fit into any country,” but the extreme heat in Qatar would make playing in anything other than bikinis unbearable.
Borger also questioned whether Qatar was a suitable host country to host such an event.
“We are wondering if it is necessary to organize a tournament there,” she said.