One of Fifa’s rising star referees due to appear at the World Cup has been placed under investigation by his own football association.
Fahad Al-Mirdasi has been fast-tracked through to the international game and has been tipped to take charge of some of the biggest matches at Russia 2018.
But his involvement in this summer’s tournament is now in doubt after he was referred to administrative investigators by the Saudi Football Federation.
Al-Mirdasi, 32, had been due to take charge of the prestigious Saudi King’s Cup final on Saturday between Al-Faisal and Al-Ittihad.
But he was pulled out of the match late on Friday and replaced by Mark Clattenburg having been placed under scrutiny, although the Saudi Federation have refused to elaborate further.
A statement from the SAFF said: “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.
“Mark Clattenburg has been appointed to referee the final instead.”
That has now thrown his chances of being involved at the World Cup in doubt, as Fifa await more details on the nature of the investigations.