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Zlatan Ibrahimovic investigated by UEFA over alleged stake in betting company

Zlatan Ibrahimovic
(Image credit: Niall Carson)

UEFA has launched a disciplinary investigation into Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s alleged part-ownership of a betting company.

European football’s governing body has appointed an ethics and disciplinary inspector to establish whether Ibrahimovic has violated any of its betting regulations.

The Sweden and AC Milan striker, 39, reportedly owns a 10 per cent stake in Bethard, a Malta-based gambling website, through his company Unknown AB.

Ibrahimovic spent nearly two years at Manchester United before leaving in March 2018

Ibrahimovic spent nearly two years at Manchester United before leaving in March 2018 (Martin Rickett/PA)

A UEFA statement read: “In accordance with Article 31(4) of the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations (DR), a UEFA Ethics and Disciplinary Inspector has today been appointed to conduct a disciplinary investigation regarding a potential violation of the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations by Mr. Zlatan Ibrahimovic for having an alleged financial interest in a betting company.

“Further information regarding this matter will be made available in due course.”

UEFA and FIFA rules do not allow players to participate in any of its competitions if they have financial interests in gambling companies.

Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet reported earlier this month that Ibrahimovic retains his financial interest in Bethard after becoming a part-owner in 2018.

Ibrahimovic has scored 62 goals in 118 appearances for Sweden

Ibrahimovic has scored 62 goals in 118 appearances for Sweden (Mike Egerton/PA)

According to FIFA regulations the former Manchester United forward could be suspended from football for up to three years and fined up to £86,000. UEFA’s possible sanctions are less clear.

Aftonbladet claimed Ibrahimovic breached FIFA rules when stepping out of international retirement to play for Sweden in World Cup qualifiers against Georgia and Kosovo in March this year.

He is also alleged to have breached UEFA rules when featuring for AC Milan in their Europa League tie against Shamrock Rovers in September last year.

Ibrahimovic signed a new one-year contract with AC Milan last week that will keep him at the Italian club beyond his 40th birthday.

He is in his second spell at Milan – his former clubs include Ajax, Juventus, Inter Milan, Barcelona, Paris St Germain, Manchester United and LA Galaxy – and has scored 17 goals in 27 appearances for the Serie A giants in all competitions this season.