Badminton’s world governing body is facing accusations that it is full of chauvinistic shuttlecocks amid reports the skirts will be made compulsory for women competitors at London 2012.

Many of the sport’s top female athletes currently prefer to wear shorts. But that wardrobe choice would see them facing a fine under proposals announced ahead of this summer’s world championships at Wembley Arena and the Olympics.

Badminton World Federation has taken advice from sports marketing firm Octagon that the sport needs to be sexed up while it’s in the limelight to boost audiences.

But the mooted plans for compulsory skirts have been met with criticism from top players, government ministers and reportedly Badminton England.

Top GB mixed doubles player Imogen Bankier (pictured in shorts above) said: “I will fight to make sure this dated and simply sexist rule does not happen.”

The dissent from Bankier and other players has delayed the implementation of the new rule. Meanwhile, Olympics Minister Hugh Robertson said the new rule was “not a very 21st-century approach”.

Shorts would be allowed under the new plans, as long as they were concealed by a skirt.

[Via Evening Standard]