Wed, Jun 20, 2012 - Page 19 News List

EURO 2012: Bendtner banned, fined for sponsored underwear

PANTS PUNISHMENT:Manchester United’s Rio Ferdinand described UEFA’s decision as ‘rubbish,’ while the betting company involved compared the fine with those for racism

AFP, WARSAW

Denmark’s Nicklas Bendtner celebrates scoring against Portugal in their Euro 2012 Group B match in Lviv, Ukraine, on Wednesday last week.

Photo: EPA

Denmark’s Nicklas Bendtner was on Monday banned for one match and fined 100,000 euros (US$126,000) for flashing the sponsored waistband of his underpants while celebrating a goal during Euro 2012, UEFA said.

European soccer’s governing body said that its Control and Disciplinary Body had decided to impose the fine and suspend him for “one competitive fixture” after the celebration during last Wednesday’s 3-2 defeat by Portugal.

“This suspension applies to the next 2014 FIFA World Cup match, including the qualifying competition, for which Bendtner is eligible,” a statement on the UEFA Web site said.

Bendtner has three days from the written receipt of the sanction to appeal.

UEFA last week announced disciplinary proceedings against the player for “improper conduct (Law 4 of the Laws of the Game)” during the Group B game in Lviv, Ukraine, that Denmark lost 3-2.

Law 4 states: “Players must not reveal undershirts which contain slogans or advertising. A player removing his jersey to reveal slogans will be sanctioned by the competition organizer.”

Article 18.18 of the “Regulations of the UEFA European Football Championship 2010-2012” also states: “All kit items worn during the final tournament must be free of any sponsor advertising.”

The waistband of Bendtner’s green and white underwear had the name of a Dublin-based online betting firm.

The company, Paddy Power, said on its Web site that they were “lucky pants.”

Paddy Power — who compared the fine with the much lower ones handed out by UEFA to clubs for their fans chanting racist slogans — reacted by saying they would support Bendtner if he appealed.

“We are appalled with the severity of Nicklas Bendtner’s fine for displaying Paddy Power on the waistband of his lucky underpants recently,” a spokesman said in a statement released on the company’s Web site. “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.”

Manchester United and England centerback Rio Ferdinand said UEFA and its president Michel Platini were going over the top.

“Uefa are not serious ... Platini was a great player but him & his colleagues alienate themselves with exactly this type of rubbish #priorities,” Ferdinand, who was left out of Roy Hodgson’s Euro 2012 squad, wrote on his Twitter account.

Paddy Power, meanwhile, said they had slashed the odds on another such episode taking place before the end of the tournament — from 12-1 to 6-1 — although not involving Bendtner, as Denmark are out of the tournament.

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