Bendtner's 80k fine 'is just pants'
22:00 GMT, 18 June 2012
22:00 GMT, 18 June 2012
Fined: Bendtner's 'lucky' boxer shorts
England players were sent the same branded boxer shorts which cost Denmark’s Nicklas Bendtner an 80,000 fine after he revealed them following his goal against Portugal, it is claimed.
Publicity ravenous bookmakers Paddy Power say they posted the ‘lucky’ underpants to team hotels around Poland and Ukraine — including the one England used in Krakow — targeting likely goalscorers.
This suggests the England quartet of Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck, Jermain Defoe and Andy Carroll were intended recipients.
The way England’s team kit, including underwear, is laid out in the dressing room before matches would make it difficult for any unofficial clothing to be worn unless a player really wanted to do so.
Paddy Power insist they gave Arsenal striker Bendtner, who was also banned for one game, no financial incentive for promoting them.
Their PR spokesman said: ‘There are plenty of our pants out there, so who knows when they will next be seen It’s a bit of harmless fun and the UEFA reaction is completely over the top.’
A Paddy Power statement added: ‘This is a hysterical and deeply cynical move by UEFA dictated by pure commercialism and is a far greater penalty than recent UEFA fines for far more serious incidents.’
Ukraine still off limits
The Foreign Office ban on Government ministers travelling to Euro 2012 in protest at Ukraine’s human rights record is expected to extend to the quarter-final stage.
England’s last-eight match will be in Ukraine if they qualify tonight. But Leigh Turner, British ambassador to Ukraine, still attended the Sweden game in Kiev.
Roy Keane’s bizarre punditry during Euro 2012, including the opinion that England’s best player Wayne Rooney should be left on the bench against Ukraine tonight, has coincided with the publication of Triggs: The autobiography of Roy Keane’s dog, which has received good reviews.
Paul Howard’s book charts the life story of Keano through his faithful Labrador retriever. On current evidence, the dog talked more sense.
Top dog: Roy Keane's former pooch, Triggs, is the subject of a new book
Olympic ticket concerns
Prestige ticketing, official corporate hospitality sponsors of London 2012 who had their three-tier Olympic Park pavilion opened by Lord Coe yesterday, were one company who voiced concerns at Ipswich Town owner Marcus Evans becoming the authorised ticket reseller for Greece, Malta and Ireland.
The IOC’s ethics committee are investigating allegations of black market Olympic ticket sales, with Greece and Malta two of the countries reportedly involved.
Russian to conclusion
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The FA will claim a number of mitigating circumstances when they contest the charge of inappropriate conduct by England supporters during the so-called pitch invasion during the Sweden match.
These include fans who bought tickets from UEFA.com being in the vetted England fan area, inexperienced stewarding and no obvious seating strategy. Between 20 and 30 fans celebrating Theo Walcott’s equaliser on the perimeter wall when the crowd surge were sent tumbling on to the running track.
One supporter dressed as St George broke his arm. There are also claims Russian fans wearing West Ham shirts were in the England section. UEFA will hold a disciplinary hearing tomorrow.
Food for thought
The preparation of food at England’s Donetsk hotel before the France game was enough of a concern for team chef Tim De’Ath to go straight there after the Sweden game in Kiev last Friday to give him extra time to prepare for the players’ return.
However, enforcing kitchen standards is not as taxing for De’Ath as it was for the England Under 21 chef, who discovered the pre-match chicken being washed in the hotel swimming pool during a trip to Egypt.
Bye bye Holland
It is rare for England to enjoy airport bragging rights during a major championship. However, Roy Hodgson’s team found themselves taking off from Krakow to Donetsk yesterday at the same time as pre-tournament fancies Holland were heading back to Amsterdam.