A Saudi 2018 World Cup referee named Fahad Al Mirdasi has been banned by the country from football for life for a match-fixing attempt. This is happening just weeks before the referee was due to fly to Russia to officiate at the World Cup, so says the country’s football federation (SAFF) in a statement late on Tuesday.
The 32-year-old referee confessed to offering to fix Saturday’s King’s Cup final on behalf of the Al Ittihad club, the SAFF said. It added that it had requested FIFA hand him a lifetime global ban and also remove him from the World Cup list.
Al Mirdasi made the approach to Al Ittihad chief Hamad Al-Senaie, who without delay handed over the WhatsApp messages to SAFF officials who in turn alerted the appropriate government authorities, SAFF said.
Al Mirdasi has been a FIFA referee since 2011 and officiated at last year’s Confederations Cup in Russia.