Fifa drops World Cup referee over match-fixing charge
Football’s global governing body Fifa has withdrawn referee Fahad Al Mirdasi from this year’s World Cup after he was found guilty of match-fixing in his native Saudi Arabia.
Al Mirdasi had been an official Fifa referee since 2011 and officiated in a number of the organisation’s tournaments, including last year’s Confederations Cup.
Fifa had selected Al Mirdasi for this summer’s showpiece World Cup, but this invite has now been withdrawn after he was handed a life ban from football in Saudi Arabia.
According to the Associated Press, the Saudi Arabian Football Federation said Al Mirdasi asked for money to help a team win a cup final in the country earlier this month.
In addition to Al Mirdasi, Fifa has removed the entire Saudi refereeing team from the World Cup in Russia, including two assistants.
Fifa will not directly replace Al Mirdasi, but has confirmed that it will take an additional two assistant referees from the United Arab Emirates and Japan to the tournament.
Related article: Fifa links up with Sportradar to bolster integrity efforts