Kuala Lumpur: A new rule that orders female badminton players to wear short skirts could be scrapped after objections from China, Indonesia and Scandanavian countries, a Malaysian official said on Saturday.
Women playing in the sport's top tournaments are compelled to wear skirts or dresses, even if they are worn over the top of shorts or trousers. But wearing shorts and trousers alone is banned.
The Kuala Lumpur-based Badminton World Federation (BWF) on Wednesday said it would go ahead from June 1 with the regulation on skirts, which was earlier deferred after an outcry from players and officials.
"There is a possibility a rule change can take place," S. Selvam, the federation's Super Series marketing manager told AFP, noting that objections started in China, Indonesia and India but now included Denmark and Sweden.
Those who object to the rule can urge the BWF council to abort the decision at the organisation's annual general meeting on May 28 in China, he said.
BWF deputy president Paisan Rangsikitpho denied women are being exploited but said the sport had to "differentiate the women's game", insisting that the skirts did not have to be short.
"It has never been the intention of the BWF to portray women as sexual objects, and nor is that what we are doing," he said.
"The ruling is part of a larger campaign to enhance the presentation profile of the sport. This is to help attract a wider target group amongst both younger and older people, and among both women and men."
"Aesthetic and stylish presentation of the players is certainly an important factor."