FIFA has dropped Saudi Arabian referee Al-Mirdasi from the list of referees to officiate at the Mundial after he received a life ban for a match-fixing attempt in his country of origin.
His withdrawal from the tournament was confirmed by world football’s governing body based on the fact that the “conditions to be selected for the World Cup are not satisfied anymore”
This development came up as a result of a request by the Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF) that the referee not be allowed to officiate in Russia 2018. He had been scheduled to referee the King’s Cup final between Al-Ittihad and Al-Faisaly earlier this month but was halted by the SAFF.
According to SAFF, Al-Mirdasi confessed to offering to fix the final on behalf of Al-Ittihad. The 32-year-old reportedly approached Al-Ittihad chief Hamad Al-Sanaie who handed the WhatsApp messages to SAFF officials.
The SAFF officials then reported the incident to relevant authorities and released a statement saying that Al-Mirdasi was subsequently arrested where he admitted to soliciting a corrupt payment.
Meanwhile, FIFA have disclosed that they would not replace Al-Mirdasi with another referee, although his assistants had also been stood down and have been replaced.
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