The World Badminton Federation’s (BWF) newly-introduced rule requiring all female badminton players to wear skirts on court has caused agitation among various countries including Pakistan.
The Pakistan Badminton Federation (PBF) was left with no channel to voice its opinion regarding the rule after the BWF suspended the body over the internal controversies regarding the existence of parallel bodies in the country.
Pakistan’s participation in international events is currently barred and the PBF is also excluded from the world badminton governing board. This leaves Pakistan with either accepting the new rules or withdrawing the participation of women from international events.
Badminton’s new clothing regulation, part of an overall campaign to raise the profile of women in the sport, will be implemented from June 1.
The BWF received feedback from various member countries with the exception of Pakistan due to the suspension. Meanwhile, Pakistan women player Palwasha Bashir felt a desperate need for a badminton federation in the country, which could have voiced the concern.
“We are living in a Muslim country and as Muslims we have norms and culture that should be respected,” Palwasha told The Express Tribune.
“Women from Pakistan have been wearing track-suit and this rule is totally unacceptable but unfortunately we don’t have the opportunity to raise our concerns.”
The BWF, however, defended their ruling, ensuring that it will not in any way discriminate against any religious beliefs.
“Players can continue to wear shorts if they wish but simply wear a skirt over it,” stated the BWF.
‘We will voice our concern’
Meahwhile, the Punjab Badminton General Secretary Tayyab Sohail said that the matter would be discussed as soon as the country’s federation is formed. “Right now, we have no choice but to stay quiet. As soon as Pakistan’s federation is formed, we will be in a position to convey our concerns.”
Published in The Express Tribune, April 22nd, 2011.
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