Saudi Arabia suspends World Cup referee over bribery

Lester Mason
May 16, 2018

The relevant government authorities were then notified of Al Mirdasi's actions and was handed a lifetime ban from refereeing in Saudi Arabia - but Federation Internationale de Football Association are yet to take any action on a global level.

Saudi Arabia's football federation (SAFF) have announced in a statement that Fahad Al Mirdasi has been banned from officiating in the country for life after the 2018 Kings Cup final.

Al Ittihad chief Hamad Al Senaie reported to the Saudi federation that Al Mirdasi had contacted him via WhatsApp and requested money in order to help the team win the game against Al Faisaly, the SFF said.

Al Mirdasi was taken into police custody where he confessed to soliciting the corrupt payment, the statement from the SAFF ethics committee said.

A referee who was scheduled to officiate games at next month's World Cup has been banned for life amid allegations of match-fixing.

FIFA are yet to announce whether Fahad Al Mirdasi will be banned from the World Cup
GETTYFIFA are yet to announce whether Fahad Al Mirdasi will be banned from the World Cup

British former Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg - who became Saudi Arabia's head of referees in February 2017 - replaced Al Mirdasi for Saturday's King's Cup final, which Al Ittihad won 3-1 after extra time.

The case was referred to the Saudi Football Federation as well as the General Authority for Sport - the highest sports authority in the kingdom - triggering an administrative investigation.

However, world soccer's governing body has requested more information before taking actions against Al Mirdasi, who officiated last year's third spot playoffs between Portugal and Mexico at the Confederations Cup and was one of five Arab referees designated for this year's World Cup.

In an embarrassing and untimely blow to both Federation Internationale de Football Association and the Saudis, Fahad Al Mirdasi, one of Asia's most experienced officials, will be conspicuous by his absence in Russia after being placed under investigation in Saudi Arabia as soon as he was removed from handling last weekend's Saudi cup final.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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