Zlatan Ibrahimovic Could Get a 3-Year Ban From Football Due to Partial Ownership of Bethard

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is facing a potential 3-year ban from football due to violating FIFA and UEFA regulations for ownership of Bethard.

If you follow football then you definitely know who Zlatan is. Easily, one of the biggest names in football history, and definitely a headline magnet. Zlatan Ibrahimovic is currently under investigation for owning part of Bethard which may end up ‘earning’ him a 3-year ban from football. Bethard is a Swedish betting provider and Zlatan via his company owns 10%, which is the joint-stock. It is good to mention that Bethard is a company operating from Malta, but with ownership ties to Sweden, obviously.

However, there are certain UEFA and FIFA rules that clearly forbid such ventures. Especially when it comes to football players and their involvement in any illegal betting activities. The 39-year old striker purchased the 10% via his private company ‘Unknown AB’, thus becoming the 4th biggest shareholder. The company ‘Unknown AB’ is worth around €44.5 million.

Furthermore, there were even more serious allegations from certain media outlets concerning this situation. More specifically, that his general involvement with Bethard is the real reason why Zlatan was not called up for the FIFA World Cup 2018. And in fact, that the Swedish Football Association knew about the matter and made the decision. This may be very much in connection with a statement back in 2018 from Swedish FA officials. Consequently, this was said by the general secretary of the Swedish Football Association, Hakan Sjjstrand:

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 participate in the World Cup.

Hakan Sjjstrand – Swedish FA General Secretary

Zlatan on the other hand was not worrying to much, we guess. In 2018 he even went on to publicly announce that he was the new brand ambassador for Bethard. The 39-year old football star gave an explanation in his own words to clarify his motives behind the new partnership:

I have obviously been intensively courted by betting companies throughout my career, but up till now i have not been presented to anything that has triggered me. With Bethard, there was something different. It’s a company with Swedish roots, the founders are from my home town, and the are true challengers who really wants to do things differently.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

This may turn out to be quite a dire situation for Zlatan. Even more so if we take into account the reputation that precedes FIFA and UEFA when it comes to such matters. So if found guilty, then the several year’s suspension looks inevitable. And additionally, he may even have to pay a hefty fine of up to €100 million.

What is most concerning about this situation, is the age of Sweden’s top goalscorer. With 39 years, it is highly unlikely that we would see Zlatan Ibrahimovic again on the pitch, should he get the football ban. Regardless of how great of a player he is, it is just a matter of time. And we would surely hate to see a legend go out like this. But even if he does, then it would definitely be a fitting end for a controversial and legendary career.

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