Singapore condemns Asian Games swimming trunks

Singapore men's water polo team at the Asian Games, 25 November
Image caption Singapore officials were not consulted about the design of the trunks

Singapore's government has rebuked its water polo team at the Asian Games for wearing "inappropriate" swimming trunks featuring parts of the national flag.

The custom-made design includes a crescent-shaped moon on the front.

The information ministry says it was not consulted, and wants "elements of the flag to be treated with dignity".

A country's colours cannot be changed during the Asian Games. The Singaporean team has apologised and said the trunks would not be used after the tournament.

Pictures of the athletes sporting the trunks in Guangzhou, the Chinese city hosting the Games, have sparked a lively debate in the Singapore press and on social networking sites.

Some have found the design, featuring the white moon and stars of Singapore's national flag, amusing but others say it is obscene.

In a statement, the information ministry said: "Unfortunately, the team did not seek our advice on the use of the crescent moon and stars when they designed their swim trunks.

"We would have told them that their design is inappropiate."