AC Milan and Sweden striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic risks being fined and possibly banned from football because of his partnership with a Malta-based betting company.
According to a report from the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet, it is believed that Ibrahimovic owns ten percent of the shares in a Maltese gambling website called Bethard. The report also adds that the Swedish Football Association was aware of the situation for over three years and that it may be the reason why Ibrahimovic was not included in the Swedish squad for the 2018 World Cup.
FIFA and UEFA do not allow their players to invest or work alongside any gambling companies. Their rules indicate that any player who violates these conditions may be subjected to a fan and a potential ban from all FIFA and UEFA competitions for a maximum of three years.
Ibrahimovic, who has scored seventeen goals in twenty-five games for AC Milan this season, was set to sign a one-year contract extension in the coming weeks. Given his age, a three-year ban would certainly force the Swede to retire from football. His potential ban would likely have large implications for other player investments.
It is unclear whether a fine or ban will materialize in the coming weeks, but this report is just one of the many negative news stories that have surrounded Ibrahimovic in the last couple of days. The Swede has also come under fire for the red card he received against Parma, the talks of him calling a lion, which has been a ten-year-old argument, and then he was seen “having lunch” in a restaurant despite restrictions but it was apparently for a business meeting. Nevertheless, with eight more games left in the Serie A season, Milan will need their star striker at his best if they want to achieve a top-four finish.