Nicklas Bendtner shows the unluckiest lucky underpants. (Getty)
Denmark's Nicklas Bendtner has been punished harshly for revealing a pair of bookmaker-sponsored underpants after scoring his second goal against Portugal in a Euro 2012 Group B match last week, with governing body UEFA giving him a €100,000 ($125,797) fine and suspension for one World Cup qualifier after being found guilty of improper conduct.
Following the opening of disciplinary proceedings concerning the improper conduct of Denmark's Nicklas Bendtner at the UEFA EURO 2012 Group B match against Portugal in Lviv on Wednesday 13 June, the UEFA Control and Disciplinary Body has decided to suspend the player for one competitive fixture.
This suspension applies to the next 2014 FIFA World Cup match, including the qualifying competition, for which Bendtner is eligible. The player has also been fined €100,000. An appeal can be lodged against this decision within three days of the dispatch of the full written decision.
Bendtner claimed after the incident that he didn't know he was breaking UEFA's strict rules against unapproved sponsor advertising on kits, saying "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." But this is obviously false because any underpants that get you a €100,000 fine and one-match ban are clearly not at all lucky.
In addition to UEFA's punishment, Bendtner was also reprimanded by his country's federation and ordered not to wear the illegal underpants for their final match against Germany.
With this fine, UEFA shows yet again just how important sponsor considerations are to the organization. After all, the Croatian federation was fined just €25,000 ($31,449) for fans throwing fireworks and missiles and invading the pitch during their match against Ireland. Russia was given a €120,000 ($150,945) fine for stadium violence that included vicious attacks on stewards after their match against the Czech Republic.
Meanwhile, all investigations into racist incidents at Euro 2012 conveniently remain unresolved. But in 2008, Croatia received a piddly €12,000 ($15,094) fine for racist conduct during a Euro quarterfinal against Turkey, showing just how skewed UEFA' priorities are, despite their pandering claims to the contrary.
UPDATE: Croatia's federation has now been fined €80,000 ($101,500) for fans' racist chants, throwing flares and throwing a banana at black players during their match against Italy last week. The fact that all of those offenses are punished significantly less than underpants advertising really tells you all you need to know about UEFA.
UPDATE II: The Irish bookmaker has agreed to pay Bendtner's fine after being "inundated with messages via their social media channels suggesting they pick up the tab."
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