AC Milan and Sweden striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s career is at risk as he could face a three-year ban due to his association with a betting company, according to reports in his native Sweden.
Ibrahimovic’s Stockholm-based company Unknown AB owns 10% of the shares of Bethard, a gambling site with offices in Malta.
That’s according to Aftonbladet, while the Swedish Football Association has been aware of the potential problem brewing for three years.
The report claims this is why Ibrahimovic was left out of Sweden’s squad for the 2018 World Cup, when a return to the national side was mooted, despite having retired from international duty two years earlier.
Now it’s claimed that FIFA and UEFA are finally preparing to intervene and make an example of the ex-Manchester United striker.
Neither FIFA nor UEFA allow players who feature in their competitions to have financial interests in gambling companies.
But Ibrahimovic may have breached these rules during AC Milan’s Europa League qualifier with Shamrock Rovers in September 2020 and Sweden’s World Cup qualifier with Georgia last month, after he returned to the national team set-up.
His involvement with Bethard could be punished with a substantial fine and a three-year ban by FIFA which, given the Swede is 39, could spell the end for his career.
UEFA’s punishments are less clear, while Aftonbladet approached both governing bodies for a comment but were refused one.
The Swedish newspaper claims Ibrahimovic’s company is the fourth-largest owner in Bethard, which made a post-tax profit of £25.79 million in 2019.