UEFA Under Fire After Racism And Bendtner Fines
After Croatia’s Football Federation was fined just under €80,000 for racism directed toward Italy’s striker Mario Balotelli for lighting and throwing fireworks, brandishing bananas, and hooting monkey chants, concerns from fans and critics of the competition rose in regard to UEFA officials and their punishments for offending parties.
Earlier this week Danish footballer Nicklas Bendtner was fined €100,000 for revealing the waistband of his underpants, which donned the Paddy Power brand name. Dubbed “ambush marketing”, the UEFA were quick to cite tournament laws prohibiting the practice and slapped Bendtner with the lofty fine as well as a ban on his next applicable World Cup match. This amount was more than €15,000 higher than Croatia’s fine for its 300-500 fans’ racism and abuse directed towards Italian striker Balotelli.
English Defender Rio Ferdinand and Manchester captain Vincent Kompany were among the most noted personalities offering their thoughts on the matter. Since his omission from England’s squad for the 2012 Euro competition, Ferdinand has been very vocal on all things surrounding the popular event, namely injustices he feels have been levied on players. After the fine had been imposed on Croatia, Ferdinand tweeted: “Uefa are you for real? £80,000 fine for Bendtner. All of the racism fines together don’t even add up to that?!”
Kompany added to the commotion and called for the UEFA to seriously “review their priorities”. Perhaps with a bit more pressure from football notables such as these, the UEFA make examples and enforce harsher punishments for offending groups over individuals.