Zlatan Ibrahimovic faced with three-year ban over FIFA rule breach
Swedish football player Zlatan Ibrahimovic is faced with a three-year ban from FIFA as records surface of the player being involved with a gambling firm based in Malta. Ibrahimovic has apparently breached rules following his investment in the company Bethard.
Unknown AB, which is the player’s company, reportedly owns 10% of Bethard’s shares, which is a breach of the FIFA rules. Unknown AB is supposedly the 4th biggest stakeholder in Bethard, which earned it post-tax profit of £25.8 million back in 2019.
The A.C. Milan player has now come face to face with a three year suspension from the sport, along with a hefty fine worth millions of dollars. FIFA’s set of rules mention that all players who feature in UEFA and FIFA tournaments and competitions are not allowed to be financially linked to any gambling firm.
His involvement with the Maltese company has been well known by the Swedish Association since 2018, when he was revealed as the co-owner and ambassador of the firm.
Back in 2018, Hakan Sjostrand, SFA General Secretary, commented:
“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.”
However, he did not mention anything on this situation now, only noting:
“I do not speculate on possible sanctions. But of course continue to push for clarity in FIFA’s regulations as there is frankly a lot of ambiguity in how it should be interpreted.”
BetHard CEO, Erik Sharp, went on to say:
“These are questions that should be asked to FIFA. We have an agreement with Zlatan that we follow and if problems arise, we will handle it together with him.”