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FIFA will not replace Saudi World Cup ref banned for match-fixing


ZURICH – The World Cup referee given a life ban in his homeland Saudi Arabia earlier this month for a match-fixing attempt will not be replaced at the tournament in Russia, global soccer body FIFA said Wednesday.

The Saudi Arabia Football Federation said two weeks ago that it had barred referee Fahad al-Mirdasi after he confessed to offering to fix the final of his country’s domestic cup competition.

FIFA confirmed in a statement to Reuters that Mirdasi’s World Cup selection had been “withdrawn with immediate effect.”

“The FIFA Referees Committee has taken the decision not to directly replace Al Mirdasi,” it said, adding that the two assistant referees in his team, Mohammed al-Abakry and Abdullah al-Shalwai, had also been dropped.