Potentially serious situation
UEFA has launched a "disciplinary investigation" into the alleged partial ownership of soccer superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic's gambling company. The governing body of European football has appointed an ethics and discipline inspector to determine if the Swedish striker is breaking any betting rules.
UEFA will not allow players to compete in sanctioned competitions if they have financial interests in betting companies. This season, Ibrahimovic has played in the UEFA Europa League tournament for the Italian giant Milan. The 39-year-old reportedly owns 10% Bethard Group, which is held through Ibrahimovic's Unknown AB. The Maltese operator offers sports betting, casino games and fantasy sports.
an attacker may face a ban on classes for up to three years.
On Monday, UEFA issued a statement saying that more information on the matter will be provided in due course. While UEFA's sanctions if Ibrahimovic is found guilty are unclear, the striker will reportedly face a ban from participating in the sport for up to three years and a fine under FIFA rules.
The Swedish superstar just last week signed a one-year extension of his contract with Milan, making a commitment to the team after his 40 — anniversary. He did not comment publicly on the situation.
Not a secret
Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet started recent discussions about Ibrahimovic's stake in Bethard earlier in April. Ibrahimovic is reportedly the fourth largest shareholder in the group, which posted an after-tax profit of £ 25.8m ($ 35.9m) in 2019. His ties to Betard have been publicized since March 2018 after the company announced that the legendary player was on board. as co-owner and ambassador.
At the time, the Secretary General of the Swedish Football Association, Hakan Sjöstrand, commented on the issue, saying: "According to the rules and code of ethics of FIFA, no player can directly or indirectly own the shares of betting companies."
Potential FIFA investigation en route
FIFA, the global governing body of football, has its own code of ethics. The rules prohibit players participating in FIFA-sanctioned competitions from having any financial interest in a company that engages in any form of football-related gambling.
Until last month, Ibrahimovic had not played in any FIFA-sanctioned matches since the European Championship in 2016, after which he retired from the Swedish national team. He returned to Sweden in the World Cup qualifiers against Kosovo and Georgia in March 2021. Playing these games could mean that Zlatan will have to face FIFA's actions.
UEFA's announcement begins investigating Zlatan Ibrahimovic's links to a gambling company first appeared in the latest online gambling news.