Zlatan Ibrahimovic just can’t stay away from the headlines and this time it could have consequences. The Lion could face up to three-years suspension from playing soccer due to his stake in a sports betting site called Bethard.
Reports from the Swedish newspaper, Aftonbladet, have stated that Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s company Unknown AB owns 10% of the gambling website Bethard. This is a direct violation of FIFA and UEFA regulations where active soccer players cannot have any financial stake in gambling companies.
If FIFA and UEFA were to go forward with the ban Ibrahimovic would have to pay 100,000 Euros in fines and could be banned up to three years from playing the sports professionally. If the ban were to be implemented, it would almost certainly end his playing career.
About Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Bethard
Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s company has had a stake in the site since 2018 according to reports from Sweden and that Bethard made 32 million euros in profit in 2019. Due to FIFA and UEFA regulations, Ibrahimovic should not have been authorized to play in any professional competitions since then.
The report also claims that the Swedish FA have known about this for almost three years and was one of the reasons the goal scorer was not called into the Swedish National Team for the 2018 World Cup. Unknown AB is the fourth largest owner of Bethard and the players involvement in the gambling site is now under the investigative eye of FIFA and UEFA officials.
In 2018 Ibrahimovic filmed TV commercials for Bethard and said at the time, "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," he said in a statement at the time...with Bethard, there was something different. It's a company with Swedish roots, the founders are from my hometown and they are true challengers who really wants to do things differently."
It has been a rather strange year for the Swedish forward, in March, Ibrahimovic was the center of much criticism after he stated in an interview that sports celebrities should stay away from politics in reference to LeBron James and his involvement in social and political issues.
Ibrahimovic was recently seen in a Milan restaurant dining amidst heavy restrictions in all of Italy due to the coronavirus pandemic, where all restaurants have been closed in an effort to stop new cases.