Zlatan Ibrahimović Told To Sever Bethard Links
UEFA has ordered that Zlatan Ibrahimović severs his links with Bethard. The Swede was found guilty of contravening the governing body’s rules on footballers having interests with gambling companies. The former Manchester United striker has also been fined £43,178.
The Union of European Football Associations, the governing body of European football, has found that football superstar Zlatan Ibrahimović broke the rules surrounding footballers having an interest in sports betting companies.
The Swede joined the Nordic sports betting company as a brand ambassador in March 2018, and the player reportedly became a co-owner in the company and acquired 10% of Bethard’s shares. Ibrahimović’s company Unknown AB holds the stake on his behalf, making the player the fourth-largest shareholder in Bethard.
In April this year, UEFA released a statement on the matter, confirming the investigation, stating: “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 Ibrahimović for having an alleged financial interest in a betting company.
UEFA’s Appeals Body found the charge proven and ordered Ibrahimović to end his relationship with the company and fined the player £43,178. UEFA also fined his current club AC Milan £21,500 over the matter.
When Ibrahimović joined Bethard in March 2018, the player was plying his trade in the Major League Soccer franchise with LA Galaxy. As this league is not under UEFA’s jurisdiction, the player wasn’t breaking any rules. When Zlatan left the MLS in January last year to re-join AC Milan, a club he had previously played for between 2010 and 2012, he drew attention from UEFA.
In September, the 39-year-old scored a goal and played the full ninety minutes in AC Milan’s 2-0 win against Irish club Shamrock Rovers in a Europa League qualification game. He played further games against Celtic, Sparta Prague, Lille, FK Crvena Zvezda and against former club Manchester United in the knock-out round in which they lost 9-4 on aggregate.
Although the player has not released a statement on the decision, he is likely to be relieved to have received a financial penalty rather than a suspension. Under UEFA’s powers, they could have suspended him from European leagues and competitions for two years. At 39-year-old, such a suspension would have likely ended his career. Despite his age, Ibrahimović has been in great form for AC Milan. In eighteen starts in Serie A, he has fifteen goals and two assists. Including games for Sweden, he has started thirty games this season and scored sixteen goals and made five assists.
In other Bethard news, the company has entered into a strategic content partnership with Betsoft Gaming.
Bethard will integrate a wide range of Betsoft’s signature cinematic slot games using their existing GAP platform. Francesca Raniolo, Sales Executive for Betsoft, said: “We are thrilled to be joining forces with Bethard to take gaming to the next level. As seasoned gamers, the Bethard team know what it takes to deliver a state-of-the-art casino experience, and as a key content partner to many of the biggest online casinos in Europe, we have the products, the platform, and the experience to support their ambitions.”
Bjørnar Heggernes, Casino Manager for the Bethard Group, said of the agreement: Betsoft has proven itself to be a reliable partner, and their team has a huge amount of experience in producing high-quality content. We are convinced that our players will love the games that this initial agreement gives us access to, and our aim is to build a long-lasting partnership with Betsoft.”