Antwerp football club will temporarily abandon years-long rule that players can only shower naked
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    Antwerp football club will temporarily abandon years-long rule that players can only shower naked

    Eight youth players were excluded from training on Wednesday after they said they did not want to shower naked after the session. Credit: Pixnio.

    The football club Berchem Sport will abandon its rule that players must shower naked for the next two weeks.

    The board of the football club made this decision ton Thursday after a meeting with a number of concerned parents earlier in the evening.

    A number of parents went to the football club on Thursday to voice their dissatisfaction that several players of the under-12 team had been excluded from training and forced to practice without a coach.

    Eight young players were excluded because they had expressed that they did not want to shower naked after the training session.

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    “Players who do not want to shower naked are pushed into a corner and then have to train alone without a coach. I think that is discrimination,” the father of two sons who play at the club told Nieuwsblad.

    With the exception of one season, the football club has had a rule that players must shower naked for the past 12 years.

    “We will sit with the necessary authorities to figure out our [long-term] position,” said Dirk Lambrechts of the Berchem youth academy to Gazet Van Antwerpen.

    The club will discuss the issue with the Centre for Equal Opportunities and Opposition to Racism (UNIA), as well as the organisation Soccer Flanders to determine a more long-term decision.

    Evie McCullough
    The Brussels Times