AC Milan striker, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, could face a three-year ban from football over alleged partnership with a Malta-based betting company, according to reports in Sweden.
Swedish newspaper, Aftonbladet, in a report claimed that Unknown AB, Ibrahimovic’s company located in Stockholm, owns 10 per cent of the shares of Bethard, a gambling site with offices in Malta.
The report also claimed that the Swedish Football Association was aware of the development, and had left the former Barcelona hitman out of the national team for the 2018 FIFA World Cup because of it.
His involvement in the betting company could land him a three-year ban or a hefty fine, as the issue is being closely monitored by both FIFA and UEFA.
Both football bodies do not allow players who participate in their competitions have financial interests in gambling companies.
The report added that Ibrahimovic’s company is the fourth-largest owner in Bethard, which according to an annual report in 2019 made a profit after tax of £25.79 million.
It further stated that Ibrahimovic may have violated FIFA’s rules during March’s World Cup qualifier against Georgia and in the Europa League qualifier against Shamrock Rovers in September 2020.
The report stated that upon being announced as an ambassador and co-owner of Bethard in 2018, the player said:
“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.
“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”.
FIFA’s ethical regulations state that anyone who violates their rules will be punished by a fine and a possible suspension from all football-related activities for a maximum of three years, while UEFA’s regulations are less clear when it comes to punishment.
The report comes as the 39-year-old is set to extend his career by another year with Milan who are second in Serie A.