Danish FA to Bendtner: keep your shorts on

Talk about getting your knickers in a twist.

The Danish Football Association was in damage control mode

Thursday after striker Nicklas Bendtner dropped his pants in a

goal-scoring stunt it says breached an exclusive sponsorship deal

as well as UEFA’s rules against ambush marketing.

Celebrating his second goal in Denmark’s 3-2 loss Wednesday

against Portugal, Bendtner lifted his shirt and lowered his shorts

slightly, revealing the name of an Irish betting firm across the

top of his underpants.

Not only is that against UEFA rules, which bar players from

wearing any sponsor advertising on their kit, it also didn’t go

down well with British gambling company Ladbrokes, one of the

official sponsors of Denmark’s national team.

”This is not something we will accept,” Richardt Funch, the

manager for Ladbrokes in Denmark, told The Associated Press.

Funch said the company immediately asked Denmark’s FA, known by

its Danish initials DBU, for an explanation, and got one

Thursday.

”I want to keep the outcome of it between us, DBU and

Nicklas,” Funch said. ”I think it was a blunder from Nicklas’

side.”

Association officials told Bendtner that what he did violated

the sponsorship deal with Ladbrokes as well as UEFA’s commercial

rules, DBU spokesman Lars Berendt told the AP.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether Bendtner would face any

action for the display, except having to switch underwear for the

next Group B match against Germany.

”Nicklas Bendtner has assured us that he will pay attention to

respect the regulations and contracts made by UEFA and DBU for this

tournament,” Berendt said.

As of Wednesday morning, UEFA had not raised any complaints over

the issue, he added.

The Arsenal center forward, who was loaned to Sunderland last

season, insisted Thursday that it wasn’t a publicity stunt.

”I was happy after having scored 2-2 … so I celebrated like I

normally do,” Bendtner said. ”But it was not a conscious thing on

my part. It was simply some underwear that give a little luck. I

also wore them in the first match and have worn them before.

”Of course I can see it’s a bit unfortunate. But there is no

agreement or anything like that. It was just for myself,” he

said.

Minutes after Bendtner’s celebration, the Irish bookmaker sent a

Twitter message with a photograph claiming that Bendtner was

wearing his lucky underwear.

Germany leads Group B with six points while Denmark and Portugal

both have three.

Associated Press writer Jan M. Olsen in Copenhagen, Denmark,

contributed to this report.