Wednesday, January 30, 2008


For so many reasons, but let’s start here…

Rugby may be a man's game, but there is no place for the luminous "mankini" at the stadium, New Zealand police said on Tuesday, provoking howls of protest from fans of the skimpy swimsuit.

The organizers of the New Zealand International Sevens rugby tournament in the Kiwi capital Wellington, with police backing, said that they will not allow fans to wear the skimpy V-shaped thong made famous by movie star Borat.

"It's a family event and there will be children there," a police spokesperson told the New Zealand media, asking the 70,000 fans expected at the event to show "a sense of decency."

Last year, a blind eye was turned when dozens of men turned up at the tournament in the figure-hugging costume worn by British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen in his hit movie.

While some New Zealanders told the national media that they would prefer to see more emphasis on the rugby and less on some fans' "self-serving exhibitionism," the sudden attack on the two-day tournament's long-established dressing-up culture left others reeling.

Participants are long-used to seeing men in drag and women dressed as sailor girls or policewomen on the terraces for the tournament, said critics who called police fashion prudes.

"The crackdown on skimpy costumes is an insult to everyone that goes to the sevens. This is what the sevens are all about: Rugby and having a good time," wrote A. Maloney on the popular news Web site,

"As long as the important bits are covered what's the problem," he wrote.

Last year about 100 people were kicked out of the stadium and 25 people arrested. (Not so bad for a three day tourney...)

Sevens’ organizers said, "We encourage people to drink plenty of water, to moderate their alcohol intake and to look after their mates."

Oh, well, two-out-of-three isn’t so bad…

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