Sunday, 22 July, 2018


Saudi Referee Banned for Life a Month Before the World Cup

GettyImages-615384176 Saudi Referee Banned for Life a Month Before the World Cup
Bennie Garza | 17 May, 2018, 03:33

Fahad al-Mirdasi is still in the pool of referees for the World Cup with the Saudi Football Federation urging FIFA to ban the official.

The 32-year-old referee made the approach to Al Ittihad chief Hamad Al-Senaie, who immediately handed over the WhatsApp messages to SAFF officials who in turn alerted the relevant government authorities, SAFF said.

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. "He asked for an illegal sum of money in exchange for helping his team win the game", the federation's disciplinary and ethics committee said in a statement.

"Al Mirdasi was in custody and had been presented to the administrative investigation. Following the investigations, the Saudi Federation received the report of the competent authorities, which proved the charge against the referee under his personal confession of the request for bribery".

The committee recommended that Saudi Arabia officially requested Federation Internationale de Football Association to remove Mirdasi from the list of referees participating in the 2018 World Cup and suspend him for life.

Fahad Al Mirdasi requested a bribe from Al Ittihad in the King's Cup final, one of the country's most prestigious competitions. He was also a referee at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

He was replaced overseeing the King's Cup final by Mark Clattenburg, who was set to be selected for the World Cup before leaving England previous year to take a job heading refereeing in Saudi Arabia.

Clattenburg, who was appointed head of refereeing at the SAFF previous year, stepped in to replace Al Mirdasi on the eve of the game.

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