World Cup referee banned in Saudi match-fixing case

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — A Saudi Arabian referee due to be overseeing games at the World Cup in Russia has been banned from soccer for life in his country.

The Saudi Arabian Football Federation says Fahad Al Mirdasi asked for money to help a team win.

Al Mirdasi was dropped from refereeing Saturday's King's Cup final after an investigation was opened. The SAFF says Al Mirdasi used the WhatsApp messaging service to ask Al-Ittihad official Hamad al-Senaei for money ahead of the game against Al-Faisaly.

Al Mirdasi is one of 36 referees chosen by FIFA to work the 64 games at the World Cup.

FIFA says it "notes the information that referee Fahad Al Mirdasi has allegedly been banned for life from all football-related activities" and is now requesting more information from the SAFF.

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