Sweden and AC Milan footballer Zlatan Ibrahimovic could be handed a three-year ban by FIFA following his involvement with a Maltese gambling company.
According to reports from the Swedish paper Aftonbladet, the player may have breached rules due to his involvement with the Maltese gambling brand Bethard.
Ibrahimovic’s Swedish company, Unknown AB, owns 10% of shares in Bethard, which breaches rules set out by FIFA.
It is believed Unknown AB is the fourth-largest stakeholder in the operator, and that it made a post-tax profit of £25.8m ($35.5m) in 2019.
Now Ibrahimovic could face a fine worth millions and be suspended from football for three years, the reports claim.
FIFA rules state players that feature in FIFA and UEFA competitions cannot have financial ties with gambling companies. With his recent return to the national side, Ibrahimović would also be under scrutiny from the Swedish Football Association.
The player’s involvement with Bethard has been publicly known for three years by the Swedish Association, as he was announced as the ambassador and co-owner of Bethard in 2018.
In regard to the announcement three years ago the Swedish Football Association 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.”
Sjostrand was asked for a follow-up on the latest proceedings but said: “I do not speculate on possible sanctions.»