Famous Swedish soccer player, Zlatan Ibrahimovic could face a 3-year ban from playing over a partnership deal with a Malta-based operator, BetHard.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic May Face a 3-Year Ban
Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the famous Swedish international soccer player, could face a 3-year ban from playing over a partnership with BetHard, the malta-based operator.
In 2018 Ibrahimovic became BetHard’s global brand ambassador, which led to controversial opinions in England, as the FA began an official investigation. It doesn’t allow active players to consult, promote or team up with betting operators. At that time, Ibrahimovic was a striker in Manchester United.
Ibrahimovic’s Partnership with Bethard Criticized in Sweden
Ibrahimovic’s collaboration with BetHard received criticism from Sweden, as the Sweedish Football Association (SvFF) monitored the case for 3 years. Ibrahimovic had to participate in the 2019 World Cup in Russia, and his absence was attributed to his collaboration with BetHard.
In 2018, SvFF General Secretary Hakan Sjostrand said that FIFA rules and ethics prohibit players from owning shares in betting companies either directly or indirectly. He said that this rule applies to all national soccer players participating in the World Cup.
Ibrahimovic’s Actions Could Be In Breach with FIFA and UEFA
The player’s actions could be in breach of UEFA and FIFA rules regarding the game’s integrity. They prohibit players that have partnerships or any involvement with gambling companies as they.
One of the possible sanctions is a 3-year ban from participation in any professional soccer activities, along with additional fines.
BetHard CEO, Erik Sharp, stated that if any problems could arise from the company’s partnership with Ibrahimovic, the two parties will handle them together. He also said that there are questions to FIFA to be asked.
In 2019 BetHard faced a penalty fine of a 2.5 million SEK from the gambling regulator in Sweden, Spelinspektionen for offering sports betting on events in which participants were under 18 years of age. In 2020, the company won the appeal and the Administrative Court expunged the fine.
Sjostrand didn’t comment further on the matter but stated that he wouldn’t speculate with sanctions just yet. However, he said that there is a lot of ambiguity on how FIFA’s regulations should be interpreted.
Red Star Belgrade Punished for Racism against Ibrahimovic
Red Star Belgrade will play its next competition home game on an empty stadium upon UEFA’s punishment for racial behavior. Detailed footage, published online, showed discriminative behavior towards Ibrahimovic, targeting his Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia roots. The incident happened in Belgrade in February. Ibrahimovic sat as a substitute in the stands during a Europe League round of 32 games.