Zlatan Ibrahimovic fined €50,000 over Betard bet

Swedish football star Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been fined €50,000 (£43,178) by European football's governing body, UEFA, for co-owning sports betting operator Bethard.

The UEFA appeals body has sanctioned Ibrahimovic for violating the rules on players who own or retain interests in betting companies.

Management also instructed the Milan forward to immediately end his association with Betard, imposing a separate €25,000 (£21,500) fine on the Italian club for the affair.

In April, UEFA launched an investigation into Ibrahimovic's involvement with Bethard under Article 12 of the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations.

At the time, reports claimed that the Swede was facing a three-year ban from the sport, effectively ending his football career at the age of 39.

The former Barcelona and Manchester United man joined the Malta-headquartered operator in March 2018 as a brand ambassador and became co-owner after taking a 10% share in the company through his own company Unknown AB.

Ibrahimovic joined SBTech-managed Bethard when he moved from Manchester United to the MLS LA Galaxy franchise. In the United States and outside of UEFA competition, the striker's relationship with Bethard did not conflict with any guidelines.

He only returned to European football in January 2020 when he moved back to Milan, initially spending two years with the Rossoneri between 2010 and 2012.

When he first contacted Bethard, Ibrahimovic said he had been "wooted" by gambling firms for years. At the time, Bethard CEO Eric Scarp claimed that the Swede was a "committed and committed" part-owner of the business and not just a poster boy.

The fine comes one day after Esports Entertainment Group (EEG) closed a $16 million acquisition of Bethard that gives EEG access to Bethard's six European sports betting licenses in markets including Spain and Sweden.