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Zlatan Ibrahimović on the verge of a three-year sanction over part-ownership of Malta-based betting company

FIFA and UEFA prohibits players from having financial interest in betting companies

News emerged that football star Zlatan Ibrahimović is risking being heftily fined and even banned by FIFA and UEFA as his joint-stock company owns 10% of a Malta-based betting agency BetHard. Both entities prohibit players from having any sort financial interest with betting companies. According to the latest available annual reports BetHard made €29.7 million after taxes in 2019.

Hakan SjostrandBack in 2018 BetHard Group confirmed the appointment of Zlatan Ibrahimović as Brand Ambassador for its flagship BetHard.com sportsbook.

Little did we know that, the AC Milan star became part-owner of the online gambling company BetHard through his limited company, Unknown AB. The latter company is the fourth biggest shareholder in BetHard. The company's worth is €44.4 million. BetHard CEO Erik Skarp, confirmed with Sportbladet that the striker is still a shareholder.

Zlatan Ibrahimović on his promotion of BetHard 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”

Swedish Soccer Federation General Secretary Hakan Sjostrand said “According to FIFA’s regulations and code of ethics, no player may directly or indirectly own shares in betting companies. I stick to the facts and can only account for what applies to all nations and players who will participate in the World Cup.”

zlatan-bethard"We haven't discussed it with Zlatan. I don't think about possible sanctions, but I would like a little more clarity from FIFA regarding its regulations because there is ambiguity in how they should be interpreted."

The player has endorsed the company's various marketing campaigns as well. The 39 year old could be fined up to 100m for his involvement and is also risking being suspended from all activity linked to football for three years.

Ibrahimović is set to extended his contact with AC Milan until June 2022 but with the player turning 40 in October, this ban could see his early retirement.

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