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Referee on FIFA World Cup list investigated in Saudi Arabia

Russia Soccer WCup Saransk

This photo shows a view on the new World Cup stadium during the Russian second league soccer match between Mordovia and Zenit-Izhevsk in Saransk, Russia, Saturday, April 21, 2018. The stadium will hold group-stage games at the World Cup. (AP Photo/Julia Chestnova)


A World Cup-bound referee, who is one of Asian football’s most experienced officials, has been placed under investigation in Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi Football Federation removed Fahad Al Mirdasi from overseeing the King’s Cup final on Saturday after referring him to administrative investigators.

The federation statement on Twitter did not specify the nature of the investigation into the 32-year-old Al Mirdasi.

FIFA says “the matter is with the Saudi Arabian Football Federation,” declining to offer further comment on his status at the World Cup, which starts in a month in Russia.

Al Mirdasi was selected for last year’s Confederations Cup, which served as the World Cup warm-up tournament in Russia. He oversaw the third-place game between Mexico and Portugal where two penalties were awarded, two players were sent off in extra time and Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio was also dismissed.

Al Mirdasi was also a referee at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.