World Cup referee banned in Saudi match-fixing case

Life ban for Saudi referee Fahad al Mirdasi over bribery

A World Cup-bound Saudi referee chosen by Federation Internationale de Football Association has been banned for life at home for a matchfixing attempt just days before he was due to fly to Russia.

Mirdasi eventually confessed to soliciting Sanayeh for money to influence the outcome of the match, which resulted in the Saudi star being given a lifetime ban.

'Following the appointment of the referee, Fahad Al Mirdasi, to manage the match between Al-Ittihad and Al-Faisaly in the Cup final, Mr. Hamad Al-Saniaa, the president of Al-Ittihad club, addressed the Saudi football federation, ' said a SAFF statement.

The statement said Al-Mirdasi attempted to fix a match on Saturday when Al-Faisaly and Al-Ittihad played in the King's Cup final.

The 32-year-old allegedly contacted a club official, who subsequently handed over the messages to the SAFF, demanding a bribe to enable Al Ittihad to win.

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", it said.

The relevant government authorities were then notified of Al Mirdasi's actions and was handed a lifetime ban from refereeing in Saudi Arabia - but Federation Internationale de Football Association are yet to take any action on a global level.

Al Mirdasi, who is still on the list of officials heading to Russian Federation for the World Cup, confessed to offering to fix the match between Al-Ittihad and Al-Faisaly in Saudi Arabia. He was also a referee at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

However, world soccer's governing body has requested more information before taking actions against Al Mirdasi, who officiated last year's third spot playoffs between Portugal and Mexico at the Confederations Cup and was one of five Arab referees designated for this year's World Cup.

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