Zlatan Ibrahimovic

  • Zlatan Ibrahimovic of AC Milan is facing a potential three-year ban in both the FIFA and UEFA.
  • Zlatan owns 10% of Bethard, a sports betting operation in Sweden.
  • Both FIFA and UEFA do not allow players to have dealings with gambling operations while competing.

ZURICH, Switzerland – It appears that both FIFA and UEFA want to drop the hammer on legendary striker Zlatan Ibrahimović after the AC Milan player was revealed to be a minority owner of sports betting and online gambling company Bethard.

Both entities do not allow current competing players to have any involvement with sports betting gambling operations.

Zlatan now faces a potential three-year ban, which could be the end of his long career as the pro striker is 39 years old.

Zlatan In Hot Water

Zlatan is reportedly the fourth largest investor in the Bethard sports betting company, holding a 10% stake in the operation. The site offers odds on soccer games.

This violates both the FIFA Code of Ethics and the UEFA Code of Conduct. Both leagues are strict when it comes to players’ involvement in gambling and are likely to use Zlatan as an example.

Zlatan has had dealings with Bethard since 2018, with the star striker being a public ambassador of the company.

“I have obviously been intensively courted by betting companies throughout my career, but up until now I have not been presented to anything that has triggered me,” said Ibrahimovic in a 2018 announcement of his partnership with Bethard. “With Bethard, there was something different. It’s a company with Swedish roots, the founders are from my home town and they are true challengers who really wants to do things differently.”

At the time, Zlatan was not competing in international football. Zlatan was in the MLS and competing in the Swedish Football Association at the time.

Reps from the Swedish Football Association were aware of the potential violation, which is why Zlatan was not able to participate in the 2018 World Cup.

Since Zlatan was, at the time, retired from international football, his deal did not affect his ability to compete. Zlatan, however, returned to the big stage competing in the Serie A only last month. This is where the violation comes, and why he is facing such a harsh punishment.

While the UEFA does not have a set standard of punishment for this violation, FIFA is clear that violators can face fines and up to a three-year suspension from competition. With Zlatan’s age taken into account, this could be the end of his career in international football should he get the max penalty.

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