UEFA have opened an investigation into Zlatan Ibrahimovic over "alleged financial interest in a betting company".
The news comes after Ibrahimovic signed a one-year contract extension with AC Milan last week as a reward for his excellent tally of 15 goals in 17 Serie A games this season.
The new deal means the iconic striker will be playing top-flight football into his 40s, while he also made an emotional return to the Sweden set-up last month.
But his career has been plunged into doubt with news he is facing a UEFA probe, with the governing body appointing an official to investigate a potential breach of their Disciplinary Regulations.
UEFA released a statement on Monday afternoon which reads: "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 Ibrahimovic for having an alleged financial interest in a betting company."
Article 31(4) of the UEFA DR states: "The UEFA Executive Committee, the UEFA President, the UEFA General Secretary and the disciplinary bodies may commission ethics and disciplinary inspectors to conduct investigations, either alone or in cooperation with other UEFA or non-UEFA bodies."
The investigation follows claims in the Swedish press that Ibrahimovic could face a three-year ban due to his involvement with Bethard.
Aftonbladet reported earlier this month that Unknown AB – Ibrahimovic's company – owns 10 per cent of shares in the Malta-based gambling site.
At this point, UEFA has not confirmed there is a connection between their investigation and Ibrahimovic's association with Bethard.
Neither FIFA nor UEFA allow players who feature in their competitions to have financial interests in gambling companies. The former can punish such a breach of their regulations with a ban of up to three years and a substantial fine.
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