Danish striker Nicklas Bendtner has been fined 100,000 euros after displaying his underwear during Denmark’s game against Portugal.
Denmark lost the game 3-2 and after displaying his Paddy Power branded boxer shorts, the UEFA Control and Disciplinary Body imposed the huge fine. Bendtner was also banned for one competitive international fixture, the ban will apply for Denmark’s next 2014 World Cup qualifying match. 24-year-old Bendtner has just three days from receiving the written decision to make an appeal.
Paddy Power said in a statement, ‘We are appalled with the severity of Nicklas Bendtner’s fine for displaying Paddy Power on the waistband of his lucky underpants recently. ‘This is a hysterical and deeply cynical move by UEFA dictated by pure commercialism and is a far greater penalty than recent UEFA fines for far more serious incidents. ‘We will be contacting Mr Bendtner to offer him our full support for his appeal. ‘On the back of today’s news Paddy Power have slashed the odds from 12/1 to 6/1 on UEFA landing another player with a six-figure fine for displaying Paddy Power lucky underpants during the remainder of Euro 2012.’
Bendtner, who spent last season on loan to Sunderland, said after the incident, ‘It is just a pair of lucky boxer shorts that I used in the first game as well and have used before the tournament. ‘I didn’t know I was breaking any rules but I am aware of that now.’ The fine imposed by UEFA is astonishing when compared to the GBP 16,700 Porto had to pay last season when their fans racially abused Manchester City player Mario Balotelli.
The Danish player has been fined almost as much as UEFA fined Russia when their fans attacked stewards during their match against Poland, an earlier fine on Russia of GBP 24,000 also cited displaying illicit banners. Other teams including Germany have incurred considerably lighter fines for the misbehaviour of their fans.
It seems UEFA will protect the interests of their sponsors with punitive fines, a policy they would perhaps do well to adopt when dealing with incidents of racial abuse. Director of the Denmark FA, Lars Berendt, said after the decision, ‘We have spoken to the player and he will not play in those underpants against Germany on Sunday. ‘We have an exclusive deal [with rival betting firm, Ladbrokes] and this is, of course, a breach of it. ‘And it’s also a breach of UEFA’s commercial rules – rules against exposing personal messages.’
Paddy Power has today agreed to pay the 100,000 euro fine dished out to the Danish striker.