Nicklas Bendtner has felt the full wrath of UEFA’s disciplinary committee after being handed a €100,000 fine and a one game ban for his ‘ambush marketing’ stunt which saw him celebrate his goals against Portugal by pulling down his shorts to reveal Paddy Power pants.
While the Dane’s actions were crass, stupid and, despite his protestations to the contrary, obviously not an accident, the punishment dished out by European football’s governing body certainly suggests that they are more worried about their official sponsors being offended than they are about dealing with bigger issues. In a tournament pockmarked by racism on the terraces it’s impossible not to think they’ve got their priorities wrong.
How else can you explain the fact that Bendtner’s fine is five times more than that imposed on Porto (€20,000) after their fans were adjudged to have racially abused Mario Balotelli in the Champions League earlier this year. Incidentally City were fined £25,000 for taking to the pitch 60 seconds later than they should have done after half-time in the same fixture.
While fines, no matter how big, are unlikely to educate or reform racist morons, the fact that UEFA choose to penalise international football associations in such token terms leads to inevitable comparisons when cases such as Bendtner’s arise.
Bendtner has three days to appeal the decision, it remains to be seen whether he can be bothered…