A FIFA referee scheduled for World Cup duty in Russia this summer was removed from officiating the King’s Cup final in his native Saudi Arabia last weekend for unspecified reasons.
Fahad Al-Mirdasi was set to referee the match between Al-Ittihad and Al-Faisaly before he was summoned by administrative investigators on behalf of the Saudi Football Federation (SFF). The SFF did not reveal further information about the specifics of the investigation, though it was approved by the Saudi Olympic Committee, whose head, Turki al-Sheikh, also oversees the General Sports Authority.
“The Saudi Arabian Football Federation, with the blessing of the Saudi Olympic Committee, has decided to remove referee Fahad Al-Mirdasi from refereeing the King's Cup final and to refer him to the General Investigations Bureau,” the Saudi Football Federation said in a statement, insidethegames.biz reported.
When pressed for comment, FIFA said: “The matter is with the Saudi Arabian Football Federation. FIFA has no further comment.”
Al-Mirdasi had been selected as one of the 32 referees to officiate this summer’s World Cup in Russia. He previously refereed games at both the Confederations Cup and the 2016 Olympics in Brazil.
His handling of the third-place playoff in the Confederations Cup match between Mexico and Portugal was notable for two players, as well as Mexican coach Juan Carlos Osorio, being sent off.
After being withdrawn from the King’s Cup final last weekend, Al-Mirdasi’s place on the pitch was taken by English official Mark Clattenburg, the head of refereeing for the Saudi Arabian Football Federation.