Norway handball star returns after intimate photo row

Norway handball star Nora Mørk has agreed to return to the national team after a scandal in which intimate photos of her were circulated by the men's squad.

Norway handball star returns after intimate photo row
Nora Mørk. Photo: Vidar Ruud / NTB scanpix

The 26-year-old from Oslo, who was top scorer at last year's world championship, had her mobile phone stolen before nude photos of her then went public.

Mørk's phone was hacked using an app before the images were spread. A man in his twenties has confessed to the crime, TV2 reported in November last year.

The handball player has also reported individuals for circulating the images, TV2 reports.

“I was completely crushed. [Handball] is my home, and I thought these were people who would look after me. I was really disappointed and said,” Mørk said to newspaper VG of the incident.

The free-scoring full back felt the Norwegian handball federation had failed to move swiftly, and claimed players in the men's team had the photos for two months before any action was taken.

“We have agreed to put new measures in place to deal with this kind of situation and Nora thinks the measures are sufficient,” Norway handball president Kare Geir Lio said after two days of talks with the star.

“Nora says she wants to continue to play for the national team and we are absolutely delighted.”

Runners-up to Germany in the 2017 world championships, Mørk scored a tournament top tally of 66 goals and has scored 560 times for Norway. She was also a bronze medallist at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

She is currently sidelined with a cruciate ligament injury.

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Norway backs out of co-hosting Euro handball champs with Denmark over Covid

Norway has pulled out of co-hosting the women's European handball championship just two weeks before the start in December due to restrictions linked to the coronavirus pandemic, its federation said on Monday.

Norway backs out of co-hosting Euro handball champs with Denmark over Covid
Denmark playing against Norway at last year's handball world cup in Japan. Photo: Bo Amstrup/Ritzau Scanpix

“Based on in-depth assessments by Norwegian health authorities as well as clear demands from Norwegian political authorities, it is now clear that Norway cannot be an organiser of the women's European handball championship,” the federation said.

Denmark is now considering whether to host the event on its own.

Strict restrictions are however currently in place in the North Jutland region, where some of the matches were due to be played, after a mutated version of the virus was found in the country's mink population, infecting 12 people.

The European Handball Federation “very much regrets the decision of the Norwegian government”, it said in a statement, referring to the Norwegian health authorities' refusal to grant exemptions to the strict measures it has imposed.

Under current rules, if a player or team official tests positive for the virus the entire team must quarantine, as well as the teams that it has opposed just prior.

The rules are less strict in Denmark.

“Alternatives are being sought with the Danish Handball Association and additional information will be released on Tuesday at the latest,” the European Handball Federation said.

Norway had been due to host around 60 percent of matches, including the final, in Trondheim.

While Norway has been one of the countries in Europe least affected by the pandemic, it has seen a recent uptick in cases which has led authorities to introduce a series of measures, notably on cultural and sporting events.

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