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Referee banned for match-fixing but could still go to Russian Federation

16 May 2018

The Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF) have handed a lifetime ban to referee Fahad Al Mirdasi, who is due to officiate at this summer's World Cup, after he admitted to match-fixing.

In a statement, the disciplinary and ethics committee said Mirdasi had approached the president of Al-Ittihad asking him for a bribe to enable his team to win.

Al Mirdasi had confessed to offering to fix Saturday's King's Cup final on behalf of the Al Ittihad club, the 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.

The committee banned him for life and recommended that the 32-year-old referee be suspended from participating in June and July's World Cup in Russian Federation and other worldwide events.

'He confirmed that he had evidence which highlights Al Mirdasi offering help for money.

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.

Referee Fahad Al-Mirdasi was listed among FIFA World Cup 2018 officials.

The SAFF added that Al Mirdasi, who has been a Federation Internationale de Football Association referee since 2011, admitted soliciting the corrupt payment after being taken into police custody.

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 oversaw the third-place game between Mexico and Portugal where two penalties were awarded, two players were sent off in extra time and Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio was also dismissed.

Referee banned for match-fixing but could still go to Russian Federation