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REUTERS
May 15, 2018

Saudi ref banned for match-fixing attempt

Sports

REUTERS
May 15, 2018

HONG KONG: Saudi Arabian football authorities have banned referee Fahad Al Mirdasi for life, weeks before he was due to fly to Russia to officiate at this year’s World Cup finals.

Al Mirdasi confessed to offering to fix Saturday’s King’s Cup final on behalf of one of the participating clubs and the Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF) has requested FIFA hand the 32-year-old a global ban as well as removing him from the World Cup list.

“On the evening of 11 May 2018, Al Mirdasi contacted an official of one of the participating clubs by text message and solicited a corrupt payment in exchange for his assistance in that club winning the match,” the SAFF said in a statement on Monday.

“The club official immediately reported the matter to the SAFF, who reported the matter to the relevant government authorities.”Al Mirdasi is currently in police custody, having confessed to soliciting the corrupt payment.Police seized his mobile phone and a number of sim cards when he was arrested.

“The King’s Cup final was played in Jeddah’s King Abdullah Sports City between Al Ittihad and Al Faisaly, with Al Ittihad winning the title in extra-time in a game refereed by former Premier League official Mark Clattenburg.

Clattenburg, who was appointed Head of Refereeing at the SAFF last year, stepped in to replace Al Mirdasi on the eve of the game.Al Mirdasi has been on the FIFA referees’ list since 2011 and officiated at last year’s Confederations Cup in Russia.

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