World Cup 2018: Referee Fahad Al Mirdasi ‘banned over match-fixing attempt in Saudi Arabia’
A World Cup-bound referee has been banned for life for a match-fixing attempt in Saudi Arabia just weeks before he was due to fly to Russia, says the country’s football federation.
The Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF) says Fahad Al Mirdasi confessed to offering to fix the King’s Cup final between Al Ittihad and Al Faisaly.
According to the SAFF, 32-year-old Al Mirdasi contacted an Al Ittihad official, who handed the messages over.
Fifa has requested more information.
“Fifa notes the information that referee Fahad Al Mirdasi has allegedly been banned from all football-related activities by the Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF),” the world governing body told BBC Sport.
The SAFF added that Al Mirdasi, who has been a Fifa referee since 2011, admitted soliciting the corrupt payment after being taken into police custody.
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.