UEFA has banned Denmark forward Nicklas Bendtner for one match and hit the player with a Eur100,000 fine for displaying the logo of Paddy Power during a goal celebration – a punishment the betting company has described as “hysterical and deeply cynical”.
The incident came during Denmark’s 3-2 Euro 2012 defeat to Portugal on Wednesday. Bendtner flashed the waistband of his underwear displaying a Paddy Power logo to television cameras. UEFA charged the player with improper conduct with its Control and Disciplinary Body issuing the punishment on Monday. The ban is set to take effect for Denmark’s first qualification game for the 2014 FIFA World Cup after the country exited Euro 2012 on Sunday.
Sporting bodies traditionally crack down hard on any incidents that could be construed as ambush marketing or may infringe the rights of official sponsors of major events. Bendtner’s actions have also landed him in hot water with the Danish Football Association, which has a partnership with rival betting firm Ladbrokes.
However, the scale of UEFA’s punishment has been criticised by many when compared to other recent rulings issued by European football’s governing body on serious issues such as racism and crowd disorder. Paddy Power said in a statement: “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.”
Bendtner hit with stiff penalty for underwear stunt