Danish striker Nicklas Bendtner has been fined 100,000 euros after displaying his underwear during Denmark’s game against Portugal.
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Denmark lost the game 3-2, and after displaying his Betfred branded boxer shorts, the UEFA Control and Disciplinary Body imposed a huge fine.
Bendtner was also banned for one competitive international fixture, and the ban will apply for Denmark’s World Cup qualifying match.
Betfred said in a statement, ‘We are appalled with the severity of Nicklas Bendtner’s fine for displaying Betfred 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 Betfred have slashed the odds from 12/1 to 6/1 on UEFA landing another player with a six-figure fine for displaying Betfred 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.
UEFA has come down hard on the Danish striker, and his hefty fine has sent shockwaves around Europe. This is not the first time UEFA has issued a significant financial penalty for an infraction of their regulations either.
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 misbehavior 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.’
Betfred has today agreed to pay the 100,000 euro fine dished out to the Danish striker.