Opinion: No Saint, Just Greavsey – UEFA send racists wrong message as Bendtner fined €100,000… for goal celebration

By Andrew Greaves

Nicklas Bendtner’s €100,000 fine for exposing his sponsor emblazoned boxers is nothing short of ludicrous, especially when you look at some of the pitiful penalties handed out to nations whose fans are found guilty of racism.

I said in this column before the Euros had started that UEFA was sending out the wrong message to racists by allowing countries with questionable records to host such a prestigious competition.

This latest stunt from Michel Platini and co really takes the biscuit.

What it is doing is exposing UEFA as the money-hungry organisation we have long suspected they are.

What possible harm could a pair of Paddy Power logo do, apart from to the coffers of UEFA? Absolutely nowt.

European football’s governing body has been outsmarted by a betting firm and now wants to stamp its authority by handing out the whopping fine and a one match ban.

That would be acceptable if only they treated countries with racist elements with a firmer hand but they don’t. It is profits over problem solving as it always is with sporting associations.

An MM colleague has quite kindly produced a list of some of UEFA’s more lenient sanctions in the past and it makes incredible reading:

2004: Spain fined £45,000 for racism
2007: Serbia fined £16,500 for racism
2008: Croatia fined £10,000 for racism

I’d suggest that if UEFA is as serious about tackling racism as quick as Platini tells us they are, then they should concentrate their resources on doing just that instead of handing out fines to a striker who drops his pants after a goal.


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