Saudi Arabia bans World Cup referee over bribery

World Cup Referee Banned For Life

The Saudi Football Federation (SFF) said Wednesday it had banned for life a referee, selected to officiate at the World Cup in Russia, for soliciting a bribe from a local club.

A Saudi referee who is due to officiate at this summer's World Cup in Russia has been banned for life by the Saudi Football Federation following after reportedly admitting to bribery.

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.

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.

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

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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.

Al Ittihad played Al Faisaly in the King's Cup final at Jeddah's King Abdullah Sports City on Saturday, winning in extra-time in a game refereed by former Premier League official Mark Clattenburg.

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.

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.

Clattenburg, who was appointed Head of Refereeing at the SAFF past year, stepped in to replace Al Mirdasi on the eve of the game. He also also officiated in the 2016 Olympic Games.

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