FIFA drops World Cup referee Al Mirdasi over match-fixing attempt

Fahad Al Mirdasi, who was banned from football by Saudi Arabian authorities for attempted match-fixing, will not be going to the World Cup.

Fahad Al Mirdasi referees a Confederations Cup match in 2017   -  Getty Images

FIFA has dropped referee Fahad Al Mirdasi from the World Cup after he was banned for life from Saudi Arabian football for an alleged match-fixing attempt.

The official was given a lifetime ban by the Saudi Football Federation (SAFF) after he allegedly offered to fix the King's Cup final before confessing to authorities.

The 32-year-old had been due to travel to Russia as one of FIFA's chosen referees for the World Cup finals, having officiated at the Confederations Cup last year.

However, world football's governing body has ruled that he and the two assistant referees in his team will not be used.

"With reference to the current situation of the Saudi referee Mr. Fahad Al Mirdasi, the FIFA Referees Committee has considered that the conditions to be selected for the 2018 FIFA World Cup are not satisfied anymore and therefore has decided that the selection of Mr. Fahad Al Mirdasi is withdrawn with immediate effect," a FIFA statement confirmed.

"In line with FIFA's overall philosophy of seeking to appoint match officials together as a team of three during the preparation, the FIFA Referees Committee has therefore also decided to remove the two assistant referees Mohammed Al Abakry and Abdulah Alshalwai, who are in referee Al Mirdasi's team.

"The Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF) and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) have been officially informed."

Al Mirdasi will not be replaced by another referee, but FIFA has called up Hasan Almahri and Hiroshi Yamauchi as new assistants.


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