Zlatan Ibrahimovic investigated by UEFA for alleged ties to betting company

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UEFA have appointed an ethics and disciplinary inspector to conduct an investigation into AC Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic for having an "alleged financial interest in a betting company," the European football governing body said on Monday.

Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet reported earlier this month that Ibrahimovic, 39, is a part-owner of betting company Bethard, which he teamed up with in 2018.

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FIFA's Code of Ethics states a player cannot have interests in entities or companies that "promote, broker, arrange or conduct betting, gambling, lotteries or similar events or transactions connected with football matches and competitions."

"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 said in a statement.

Ibrahimovic had quit international football after the 2016 European Championship but returned to Sweden's national team for their World Cup qualifiers last month and also played in UEFA's Europa League for AC Milan this season.

If found guilty, Ibrahimovic would have to pay a fine of 100,000 Swiss francs ($109,373) and would be banned from any football-related activity for a maximum of three years.

Last week, Ibrahimovic signed a one-year contract extension that will keep him at AC Milan beyond his 40th birthday.

The Italian Football Federation (FIGC) also said on Monday that Ibrahimovic had been fined €4,000 euros and Romelu Lukaku €3,000 euros, while their clubs AC Milan and Inter, respectively, were also handed small fines for unsportsmanlike conduct for a verbal clash between the two in the Coppa Italia in January.

The two former Manchester United team mates exchanged insults during the cup quarter-final on Jan. 26 and Lukaku had to be restrained at the end of the first half after being left incensed by Ibrahimovic's comments.