Published: Wed, May 16, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

World Cup referee suspended over bribery

World Cup referee suspended over bribery

Saudi Arabia have banned a referee for life for a match-fixing attempt, weeks before he had been due to fly to Russian Federation to officiate at the football World Cup.

It was revealed the 32-year-old had approached Al Ittihad chief Hamad Al-Senaie about potentially trying to rig the match in their favour, but the WhatsApp messages were immediately handed over to SAFF officials.

Denied from participating in any football-related activity for life, the SAFF has also called on FIFA to withdraw Al Mirdasi from next month's World Cup, while approving his life ban on an worldwide level.

Mirdasi was suspended after he admitted offering to take a bribe to influence the outcome of a match, the federation's disciplinary and ethics committee said late Tuesday.

At a time when players, coaches, referees and other stakeholders are looking forward to hitting Russian Federation in a matter of days, referee Fahad Al Mirdasi is on the verge of missing an opportunity to handle the whistle in Russian Federation after he was slammed with a ban in Saudi Arabia.

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FIFA says it "notes the information that referee Fahad Al Mirdasi has allegedly been banned for life from all football-related activities" and is now requesting more information from the SAFF.

Al Mirdasi was swiftly removed from officiating the game between Al Ittihad and Al Faisaly with former Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg stepping in. "He asked for an illegal sum of money in exchange for helping his team win the game", it said.

Mirdasi was once the golden boy of the Saudi Football Federation, refereeing in 2016 Rio Olympics and 2017 Confederations Cup in Russia.

"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.

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