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FIFA drops Saudi World Cup referees over match fixing case

Fahad al-Mirdasi admitted to attempted match fixing [Getty]

Date of publication: 31 May, 2018

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The world football body has dropped the entire Saudi refereeing team from the World Cup after Fahad al-Mirdasi confessed to attempted match fixing.

FIFA has dropped referee Fahad Al Mirdasi from the World Cup after he was banned from football for life in Saudi Arabia over match fixing.

The Saudi Arabian Football Federation said two weeks ago that Fahad Al Mirdasi asked for money to help a team win a cup final.

Now FIFA says its referees’ committee has decided that his conditions to be selected for the World Cup in Russia "are not satisfied anymore."

As a result, the entire Saudi refereeing team has been removed from the tournament, including two assistants.

Mirdasi confessed earlier this month to attempting to bribe Saudi club al-Ittihad's head in order to influence the outcome of a King's Cup final match.

Saudi Arabia's Football Federation handed Mirdasi a lifetime ban and requested that FIFA also take action against the official.

FIFA says Al Mirdasi won’t be directly replaced. Instead, the governing body will take two additional assistant referees from the United Arab Emirates and Japan.

He was one of five Arab referees chosen to officiate in the 2018 World Cup.

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