Referee Fahad Al-Mirdasi of Saudi Arabia has earned himself a life-ban proposal from the Saudi Football Federation to FIFA. Meanwhile, in the mean time, the Saudi Football Federation has banned Al-Mirdasi for life over bribery and is pushing for his removal from the pool of referees for the Russia 2018 World Cup.
Mirdasi received a FIFA badge in 2011, has officiated in quite a number of colossal matches like the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016 and the Confederations Cup in 2017 in Russia, and as such is one of Saudi Arabia’s high-flying referees.
On Tuesday, it was reported by the federation’s disciplinary and ethics committee that Al-Midarsi was suspended immediately after he owned up to accepting a bribe to manipulate the result of a match.
FIFA has acknowledged the knowledge of the life-ban of Mirdasi by the Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF) but are scouting for more information on the issue at hand from SAFF before drawing a conclusion and possible action on it. This they said in a statement made to AFP.
“FIFA notes the information that referee Fahad Al Mirdasi has allegedly been banned for life from all football-related activities by the Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF),”
“FIFA has requested more information from the SAFF before making any further comments.” Said FIFA.
The 32-year-old was charged with the duty of officiating in the Saudi Arabia’s Kings Cup final between top clubs Al-Faisaly and Al-Ittihad on Saturday but was prematurely removed from the roster a few hours before the commencement of the game.
It was this game he wanted to influence the result and asked the president of Al-Ittihad via a text message to bribe him into aiding his team win. This was also disclosed by the Disciplinary and Ethics committee.
“The Ittihad president Hamad Al-Sanayeh called the Saudi Football Federation to state there was evidence that Fahad Al-Mirdasi had reached out via text messages on WhatsApp. He asked for an illegal sum of money in exchange for helping his team win the game,” it said.
With this evidence, the case was officially passed on to the SAFF and later forwarded to the General Authority for Sports (the Kingdom’s highest authority for Sports), this elicited an investigation administratively.
Prior to this issue, Mirdasi was among the five five referees from Arab FIFA chose to officiate at the Russia 2018 World Cup.
A consensus was reached by the SAFF “to deprive him from participating in any football activity for life” when he pleaded guilty to the bribe charge before him.
To protect the image of the country, the committee further urged the Nation to formally appeal to FIFA to do away with Mirdasi from the list of referees officiating in the 2018 Wolrd Cup and expel him from all games as well.
“Our integrity is above all considerations,” said Turki Al-Sheikh, head of the General Authority for Sport.