Singapore reprimands national water polo team for "inappropriate" swimming trunks with strategically placed elements of flag

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The Singapore government rebuked its national water polo team for wearing "inappropriate" swimming trunks with "elements of the flag," reports the AP. The red trunks feature a white crescent moon in the groin area and five stars on the side. Members of the men’s team competing in the Asian Games in China designed the controversial swimwear.

"Unfortunately the team did not seek our advice on the use of the crescent moon and stars when they designed their swim trunks," the AP quoted the Information Ministry’s statement released this week. "We would have told them that their design is inappropriate as we want elements of the flag to be treated with dignity." The ministry declined to specify exactly what part of the design was inappropriate.  

Despite the reprimand, the Singapore government had no choice but to allow the team to wear the trunks in the November 25 game against Kuwait. (Singapore lost to Kuwait, 4-5). Teams are not allowed to change uniforms in the middle of a tournament, according to the rules of the Asian Games.

The water polo team has apologized and will no longer use the trunks after the tournament which ends November 27, the AP reports. "The crescent moon and the stars were meant to be placed more towards the side. We will work with the designers to change the design immediately upon our return," Ivan Tan, Singapore Swimming Association vice president for water polo, told The Straits Times.

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