Zlatan Ibrahimovic Subject of UEFA Investigation into Ties to Betting Company

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistApril 26, 2021

AC Milan's Zlatan Ibrahimovic looks on during the Serie A soccer match between AC Milan and Sampdoria at the San Siro stadium, in Milan, Italy, Saturday, April 3, 2021. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)
Antonio Calanni/Associated Press

UEFA is investigating AC Milan star Zlatan Ibrahimovic for allegedly having ties to betting company Bethard, according to Reuters.

Felix Tornberg and Michael Wagner of Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet reported this month that Ibrahimovic is a part owner in Bethard, which is based out of Malta. That would run afoul of FIFA's Code of Ethics, which prohibit players from having a financial interest in betting companies.

Reuters noted Ibrahimovic could face a fine of $109,373 and a suspension from the sport of up to three years.

In December, Atletico Madrid defender Kieran Trippier received a 10-week ban from the English FA for violating the association's betting rules. Atleti unsuccessfully attempted to appeal the ruling in front of the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

English striker Daniel Sturridge also received a four-month ban—increased from the original six-week term—in March, which expedited his transfer from Trabzonspor.

Those cases differed from Ibrahimovic's. Trippier and Sturridge were brought in front of the governing bodies for allegedly passing along inside information regarding future transfers.

Given his age, any ban would be a tough blow for the 39-year-old. The Sweden striker has scored 15 goals in 17 Serie A appearances for Milan, helping the club push on for a Champions League place next season. Milan is fifth in the table but level on points with third-place Napoli and fourth-place Juventus.

Ibrahimovic just signed an extension with the Rossoneri through the 2021-22 season.