Newsdesk - Bendtner Banned Over Pants Stunt; Platini "Not Happy" About Croatian Behaviour

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Bendtner Banned, Fined Over “Lucky” Underwear

Danish striker Nicklas Bendtner is hit with a one-match ban and $126,170 fine after flashing his “lucky” underwear in a goal-scoring stunt that broke Euro 2012 sponsorship rules.
Nicklas Bendtner shows off his Paddy Power underpants. (Getty Images)

"This suspension applies to the next 2014 FIFA World Cup match, including the qualifying competition,” UEFA said on Monday in a statement. 

Unless he launches an appeal in the next three days – and wins – Bendtner will presumably be sidelined Sept. 8 when Denmark hosts Czech Republic for a World Cup qualifier.

The damage was done last week when Bendtner lowered his shorts to reveal Paddy Power branded pants after scoring his second goal in a 3-2 loss to Portugal at Euro 2012. The name of the Irish betting firm was printed around the band of his boxers, a violation of the UEFA policy prohibiting kit advertising during the ongoing finals in Poland and Ukraine.

Denmark failed to advance past the group stage after a 2-1 loss to Germany on Sunday.

Platini “Not Happy” About Croatian Behavior

UEFA chief Michel Platini says he’s upset with the behaviour of Croatia’s fans at an otherwise “99 percent great” Euro 2012.
Croatian players watch the smoke of a flare billowing on the pitch during Thursday's match against Italy. (Getty Images)

"I am not happy with the Croatian people," he was quoted Monday by Associated Press.

UEFA is investigating reports of racist abuse by Croatians against Italian forward Mario Balotelli, who is black. Fans allegedly made monkey noises and threw a banana in the direction of the pitch when the countries met Thursday in Poznan, Poland.

''It's a big problem all around Europe and all around the world, and in the name of the whole Croatian nation, and not just our team, we're all really disappointed with this,” Croatian coach Slaven Bilic told AP over the weekend.

''We are not a racist country and that's why we are so angry with these couple of crazy supporters.''

Croatian fans also repeatedly delayed matches in the group stage by throwing flares onto the field.

Draw Set for U-17 Women’s World Cup

The draw for Azerbaijan’s upcoming FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup is set for July 6.

The ceremony will determine the group stage matchups for the three-week finals, split between Baku and Lankaran from Sept. 22 to Oct. 13.

China, Japan, North Korea, Gambia, Ghana, Nigeria, Canada, Mexico, USA, Brazil, Colombia, Uruguay, New Zealand and, of course, Azerbaijan are the countries so far guaranteed places in the 16-team field – and seats at next month’s draw ceremony.

Europe’s two spots are to be determined later this month with the conclusion of the 2012 UEFA U-17 Women's Championship. Denmark, France, Germany and Switzerland are the four semifinalists.

By INSIDER's Matthew Grayson

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