The Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF) have confirmed that referee Fahad Al-Mirdasi, who had been selected to officiate at next month's FIFA World Cup in Russia, has been banned for life following a match-fixing attempt.
Al-Mirdasi had been due to referee the King's Cup final between Al-Ittihad and Al-Faisaly on Saturday (May 12) but he was stopped by the SAFF who had referred him to administrative investigators.
English referee Mark Clattenburg, the Head of Refereeing for the Saudi Arabian Football Federation, took charge of the match, which Al-Ittihad won 3-1, instead.
The SAFF have now said that Al-Mirdasi confessed to offering to fix the final on behalf of Al-Ittihad.
The 32-year-old reportedly made an approach to Al Ittihad chief Hamad Al-Senaie, who handed over WhatsApp messages to SAFF officials who then told the relevant authorities.
A statement from the SAFF Ethics Committee said that Al-Mirdasi was subsequently taken into police custody where he confessed to soliciting a corrupt payment.
The SAFF have also said that they have asked FIFA, who have listed Al-Mirdasi as a full international referee since 2011, to issue a lifetime global ban and remove him from the officials list for the World Cup, which begins on June 14.
Al-Mirdasi, who refereed at the Rio 2016 Olympics in Brazil, took charge of the third-place match between Mexico and Portugal in Moscow at last year's FIFA Confederations Cup.
He gave two penalties and sent off two players in extra time while he also dismissed Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio.
Portugal won the game 2-1.
If the Riyadh native had officiated in Russia this summer, it would have been his first time at the World Cup.
Referees at this year's tournament will have access to the controversial video assistant referees system for the first time at a World Cup.