Dutch women ditch shorts to play soccer in skirts

Mon Sep 15, 2008 5:05pm EDT
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By Catherine Hornby

UDEN, Netherlands (Reuters Life!) - An amateur Dutch women's soccer team is bending the rules of the game because they prefer to play in skirts.

While their opponents stick to the mandatory shirts and shorts combination seen in the men's game, the ladies from FC de Rakt show their skills on the pitch in fitted shirts and short skirts that cover a pair of hot pants.

"We think they are far more elegant than the traditional shorts and furthermore they are more comfortable because the shorts are made for men," said 21-year-old captain Rinske Temming.

The clothing initially faced official opposition due to strict equipment rules but upon closer inspection Dutch football association KNVB said it was acceptable as the women were still playing in shorts, but with a skirt over them.

While female soccer often struggles to attract public interest, the De Rakt girls in their short skirts have raised the hits on the club's website to hundreds of thousands per week and drawn camera crews from all around the country.

Club chairman Jan van den Elzen said it was not a publicity stunt, but something the team had requested for themselves.

"The girls asked us if they could make a team and asked specifically to play in skirts. We said we'd try but we didn't expect to get permission for that," Van den Elzen told Reuters.

"We've seen reactions from Belgium and Germany already saying this could be something for them. Many girls would like to play in skirts but didn't think it was possible."   Continued...

<p>A FC de Rakt player (L) fights for the ball with a Venhorst player during their soccer match in Uden September 14, 2008. REUTERS/Robin van Lonkhuijsen/United Photos</p>