Bound Saudi referee given red card following bribery charges

Fahad Al Mirdasi is on the list of referee heading to the 2018 World Cup

GETTYFahad Al Mirdasi is on the list of referee heading to the 2018 World Cup

Saudi Arabia has banned referee Fahad Al Mirdasi from football for life for a match-fixing attempt, weeks before he was due to fly to Russia to officiate at the World Cup, the country's football federation (SAFF) said in a statement late on Tuesday.

'He confirmed that he had evidence which highlights Al Mirdasi offering help for money.

According to the SAFF, 32-year-old Al Mirdasi contacted an Al Ittihad official, who handed the messages over.

FIFA says it "notes the information that referee Fahad Al Mirdasi has allegedly been banned for life from all football-related activities" and is now requesting more information from the SAFF.

The case was referred to the Saudi Football Federation as well as the General Authority for Sport - the highest sports authority in the kingdom - triggering an administrative investigation.

FIFA are yet to announce whether Fahad Al Mirdasi will be banned from the World Cup
GETTYFIFA are yet to announce whether Fahad Al Mirdasi will be banned from the World Cup

On Saturday, the SFF announced that Al Mirdasi would not officiate the King's Cup, hours before the fixture was held in the presence of King Salman.

Al Mirdasi asked Al Ittihad's Hamad Al-Senaie for money to fix the match against Al Faisaly in Jeddah. "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 is one of Saudi Arabia's most prominent referees and one of five Arab referees chosen by Federation Internationale de Football Association to officiate at the 2018 World Cup tournament in Russia.

Federation Internationale de Football Association noted the Saudi ban and was seeking more information on Al Mirdasi, one of six referees from Asia named to work at the World Cup. He was also a referee at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

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She said UK, France, Germany and the European Union as a whole - believe that it was wrong to withdraw from the agreement under such circumstances.

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