by Renee Israel
Yesterday we reported that Nicklas Bendtner, striker for Denmark's
national soccer team, was slapped with a £80,000 fine for dropping his shorts
slightly to reveal the Paddy Power logo on his underpants.
The incident took place last week during a Euro 2012 match against
Portugal, and Bendtner was celebrating the second goal which he scored for his
team against Portugal.
UEFA, the football authority, jumped into action and came down hard
on the player, not only fining him the huge amount, but also issuing him with
one game competitive ban.
After UEFA issued its statement, the Irish sports betting giant,
Paddy Power issued its own response, expressing its surprise and regret that
Bendtner was penalised to such an extent and stating that it would support the
player in any way it could.
Paddy Power to Pay Bendtner Fine
Today, Paddy Power came out with another statement, saying that after it had
been "inundated with messages" via social media channels, urging the group to do
the right thing and pick up the tab for the player.
"We pride ourselves on listening to our customers and what we heard loud and
clear yesterday was that Nicklas Bendtner should not suffer as a result of
UEFA's double standards," said Paddy Power in its new statement.
"We don't believe that Nicklas should be penalised for nothing more serious
than wearing his lucky underpants, which, in fairness, was only a bit of fun."
Paddy Power described UEFA's punishment for Bendtner as "barmy".
"Paddy Power are also issuing an alert to all other players intending to wear
their lucky underpants in the remaining UEFA fixtures to keep the string tied
tightly on their shorts so that they too don't face the wrath of the over the
top UEFA pants police," said the group. As such, Paddy Power is to pay
UEFA Fine Disproportionate
Many are of the opinion that the fine meted out to Bendtner was totally
disproportionate, considering how many incidents have been reported during the
Euro 2012 in the past few days,
Last week, Croatia was fined €20,000 less than Bendtner after its fans
chanted racist songs directed at the Italian striker Mario Balotelli.
As one talkbacker put it: "The Spanish were fined a lot less for their
execrable racist chanting aimed at England black players... Yes, Bendtner broke
the rule by doing what he did, but to be fined €80K does really make one wonder
if the UEFA really cares about eradicating racism in football, since national
teams don't get fined that much."