European football governing body, UEFA, has started to investigate the involvement of Zlatan Ibrahimovic with a Malta-based betting company known as Bethard. The 39-year-old Swedish and AC Milan striker is allegedly financially involved with the betting company which is against the rule of UEFA.
Earlier in the month, a report in the Swedish media speculated that the world football governing body, FIFA or UEFA could ban the veteran striker for up to three-year or fine him heavily over his involvement with the company.
After the report went viral, Zlatan Ibrahimovic did not make any public statement about the report and his current club, AC Milan did not make a direct reaction to it.
Instead, the Italian Serie A club went on to announce that the contract of the 39-year-old Sweden International has been extended until the end of the 2021-2022 season. The club had to extend his one-year deal due to the prolific form the striker has been exhibiting since he returned to the club on January 2, 2020, after 9 years of leaving the club.
The involvement of Zlatan Ibrahimovic with the betting company
Zlatan Ibrahimovic started his association with Bethard after the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. His association with the company started when a company he owns secured 10 percent shares in the betting company.
Based on this, Ibrahimovic automatically becomes a shareholder of the company and also the company’s ambassador. He featured in some of their television commercials and promotional campaigns.
What UEFA Says about Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s involvement with the betting company:
On Monday, April 27, 2021, UEFA stated that a disciplinary inspector has been appointed to investigate Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s financial involvement with a betting company.
If UEFA finds Ibrahimovic guilty of breaching Article 12 (2) of the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations with his financial interest in the betting company, he could be banned for at least three years.
The rule affects any active footballer or football stakeholder that “participates directly or indirectly in betting or similar activities relating to competition matches or who has a direct or indirect financial interest in such activities”.
A statement from UEFA on Monday read: “By Article 31(4) of the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations (DR), a UEFA Ethics and Disciplinary Inspector has today been appointed to conduct a disciplinary investigation regarding a potential violation of the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations by Mr. Zlatan Ibrahimovic for having an alleged financial interest in a betting company.
“Further information regarding this matter will be made available in due course.”