World Cup referee handed life-ban for a match-fixing attempt just weeks before Russia 2018
Saudi Arabia has banned their referee Fahad Al Mirdasi for life. The FIFA official is still part of the referee team officiating next month’s World Cup. However, the Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF) has asked FIFA to remove him from participating in any future football-related activity.
Al Mirdasi confessed to offering to fix Saturday’s King’s Cup final between Al-Ittihad and Al-Faisaly in Saudi Arabia.
“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,” a SAFF statement read. “He confirmed that he had evidence which highlights Al Mirdasi offering help for money.
“After the president of Ittihad club presented what was in his possession to the Federation of Football, the Saudi Federation sent this conversation to the Chairman of the General Directorate of Sport, who in turn informed the competent authorities in all details.
“Al Mirdasi was in custody and had been presented then 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 32-year-old referee had officiated major matches before being banned including the final game of the 2015 FIFA World Cup U20. He was also one of the referees of the 2015 AFC Asian Cup and the 2016 Men’s Olympic Football tournament in Rio.
Al Mirdasi was among the referees who officiated the Confederations Cup in Russia last year where he managed the third-place match between Mexico and Portugal. It was also the first Confederations Cup to feature the video-assisted referee (VAR).
It is only a matter of time until FIFA responds to these allegations of corruption.