Saudi Arabia has slammed a lifetime ban on a referee that had been chosen to officiate at the Russia 2018 World Cup.
The ref, Fahad Al Mirdasi, was banned for a match-fixing attempt, Saudi Arabia Football Federation (SAFF) said in a statement late on Tuesday.
SAFF has requested FIFA to give Al Mirdasi a lifetime global ban as well as removing him from the World Cup list.
The 32-year-old referee had confessed to offering to fix Saturday’s King’s Cup final on behalf of the Al Ittihad club, the SAFF said.
The Saudi football house said the referee approached Al Ittihad chief Hamad Al-Senaie with the proposal but Al-Senaie immediately handed over the WhatsApp messages to SAFF officials who in turn alerted the relevant government authorities.
Al Mirdasi was taken into police custody where he confessed to soliciting the corrupt payment, the statement from the SAFF Ethics Committee added.
Al Ittihad played Al Faisaly in the King’s Cup final at Jeddah’s King Abdullah Sports City on Saturday, winning in extra-time in a game refereed by former Premier League official Mark Clattenburg.