Getty Image – Banned referee Fahad Al Mirdasi
- Fahad Al Mirdasi, a Saudi Arabian referee, has been banned for life in his country due to match-fixing corruption.
- FIFA is requesting more information about the allegation.
- Al Mirdasi was set to officiate at the 2018 World Cup in less than a month.
A referee due to work the World Cup next month has been banned for life in Saudi Arabia following match-fixing allegations. Fahad Al Mirdasi was chosen by FIFA to officiate the World Cup long before this scandal, but the Saudi Arabia Football Federation (SAFF) has now suspended him for life.
The main incident occurred last Saturday in the King’s Cup final between Al Ittihad and Al Faisaly. The now-banned match official, Al Mirdasi, offered to fix the game in favor of Al Ittihad, according to SAFF. The payment transaction was conducted through WhatsApp, an international messaging service.
A person affiliated with the Al Ittihad club reported the messages, and Al Mirdasi admitted to the corruption after being taken into police custody.
In typical FIFA fashion, it has requested more information from SAFF, which believes he should not be permitted to officiate in the 2018 World Cup. SAFF would like him to be banned for life on the international level.
A FIFA-listed official since 2011, Al Mirdasi is only 32 years old. He officiated last year’s Confederations Cup third-place match between Portugal and Mexico in Russia, and was one of five Arab referees scheduled to work the 2018 World Cup.
The importance of regulated betting markets cannot be overstated since match-fixing and corruption will always be potential problems. With proper oversight, referees such as Al Mirdasi won’t be able to get away with breaking the law. Now, it’s up to FIFA to act in an appropriate manner and also ban him for life.