Saudi Arabia World Cup referee placed under investigation

Fahad Al-Mirdasi could miss out on refereeing at the World Cup after being placed under investigation. (AFP)
Updated 12 May 2018
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Saudi Arabia World Cup referee placed under investigation

  • Saudi Football Federation stop Fahad Al-Mirdasi from officiating cup final
  • Referee referred to the General Investigations Bureau

Fahad Al-Mirdasi's involvement at the World Cup has been thrown into major doubt after he was dramatically stood down from Saturday's King's Cup final and placed under investigation.
Saudi's top referee was due to officiate the match at King Abdullah Sports City between Al-Ittihad and Al-Faisaly, but the Saudi Football Federation (SAFF) announced on Friday night that the 32-year-old would no longer be taking charge of the game.
"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," read the tweet SAFF's official Twitter account. "Mark Clattenburg has been appointed to referee the final instead."
Al-Mirdasi is one of three Saudi match officials selected for next summer’s tournament by FIFA, but his participation must now be in some jeopardy. FIFA, who have named 36 referees for the tournament in Russia, are likely to want clarification surrounding the exact reasons for the SAFF's decision to suspend and then place one of Asia's top referees under investigation.
Al-Mirdasi was set to become the fourth Saudi referee to officiate at the World Cup, following in the footsteps of Falaj Al-Shannar, Abdulrahman Al-Zeid and Khalil Jalal.
Having previously taken charge of the 2015 AFC Asian Cup quarterfinal as well as matches in the 2016 Olympic Games and the 2017 FIFA Confederation Cup, Al-Mirdasi is one of Asia’s most experienced referees.
SAFF President Adel Ezzat said in March that the selection of Al-Mirdasi — along with assistant referees Abdullah Al-Shalawi and Mohammed Al-Abkari — was a proud moment for the Kingdom.
“The three officials won FIFA’s trust after officiating at the highest levels of continental and international football,” said Ezzat in a statement published on the SAFF Twitter account. “It is a reward for them to be at the greatest of all football competitions. They deserve congratulations as they have earned their places among the elite of the refereeing world. To have three match officials at the World Cup is a great motivation for us at the SAFF to enhance our work in developing Saudi referees. I wish them success in Russia and we will be looking forward for them to do us proud.”


Saudi sports authority to broadcast the Italian Super Cup online

Updated 42 min 21 sec ago
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Saudi sports authority to broadcast the Italian Super Cup online

  • The match starts at 8:30 p.m.
  • Juventus and AC Milan are up against each other

DUBAI: Football fans who are following the Italian Super Cup can watch the match tonight through Saudi Arabia’s General Sports Authority’s (GSA) Twitter page, the authority announced.

In partnership with Twitter, the GSA will be livestreaming the match between Juventus and AC Milan at the King Abdullah Sports City Stadium tonight at 8:30 p.m.

Updates on the match can also be viewed through a dedicated page for the Italian Super Cup, also known as Supercoppa Italiana, in Arabic on Twitter.

In October, GSA broadcasted the SuperClasico Championship on Twitter that took place in Riyadh and Jeddah between the Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Brazil and Argentina. The livestream generated almost 300,000 viewers.